That performance has, however, already occurred. My decision to pay or not pay and my decision to experience the performance or not experience the performance have no impact on that particular performance or the ability of others to experience it. As such, no matter what I decide, I am not depriving anyone of anything they possessed or utilizing any kind of limited resource, and thus I cannot be said to have stolen anything from anyone.
When I approach a book, a game, or a music album, I acquire it in whichever manner is most convenient for me. If its quality is sufficient to make me interested in experiencing that creator's next performance, I make sure to pay for it if I haven't already, because I view it as a vote in favor of that type of content and a call for an encore from the performer.