It is actually just copyright infringement. Any legal action is a civil one, not a criminal one.
I can see why people do pirate stuff (especially music).
1) The legit sources are often lower quality than the copies (opposite to old bootleg versions in the old days) thanks to it being digital media
2) Music particularly, isn't widely available digitally. Yes, you can buy CDs, but want it in electronic format legitimately? It might not be
available. When it is, it's a low-quality version, and is riddled with DRM so you can't put it on your iPod or generic MP3 player.
A CD however can be ripped in original quality and put on any number of iPods, copied to other CDs, etc..
The industry is actually creating the problem by not offering what people want - original, high-quality, DRM-free digital music!!
A normal CD has a bit rate of 320 kbps. The average song on iTunes is just 128 kbps. iTunes Plus is 256 kbps, but still not there yet. My SACDs are
3.6 Mbps and are 5.1-channel. Nothing like that is available digitally yet.
I've got high-end audio equipment, and I can hear the difference not only in bit rates/compression methods, but even the differences in original
source material used to create the (legitimate) copy I'm listening to (whether that's something I got on iTunes or a CD I'm playing in my rather
expensive multi-channel CD player).
CDs are unbeaten in quality so far in the legit digital music world, and are DRM free. Until record labels release digital music with equal bit rates
(320 kbps) using *lossless* compression techniques, piracy will continue.
It doesn't pay for me to pirate music as I've got rather expensive audio equipment I'd like to use to its potential, but if the digital copies
match CDs for quality and are DRM-free, then I'll be willing to move.
I haven't bought any music in a while. I buy the odd track now and again on iTunes, but the last CD I bought was 2 years ago.
I want digital format music now, DRM-free and CD quality, but until it happens, I'll be sticking to my present collection (unless something really
good comes out).
I feel sorry for the artists because they're stuck in the middle of this war, but the labels are dinosaurs, and are trying to hold onto the cash cow
Once artists finally realize that publishing direct to the consumer is the best way, they'll jump ship. Why can the label make £20 a disc and pay
the artist £2 when the artist can make £15 directly?
They shouldn't fear digital music - they should embrace it. I'd re-buy my entire CD collection if the artists sold me what I wanted (see above).
** DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT PIRATE MUSIC. THE ABOVE IS A SIMPLE OBSERVATION OF PIRATING AND THE REASONS FOR IT. ELIMINATE THE REASON TO PIRATE, ELIMINATE
PIRACY. SIMPLE. **
People will always find ways of gaining things for free - that has been going on for as long as time itself. These people however are in a small
[edit on 20-8-2008 by mirageofdeceit]