1. THERE ARE NO REAL COSTS AND NO ONE IS DEPRIVED. Software is inherently different from physical products. It costs nothing to *reproduce*, and therefore imposes no direct costs on manufacturers, nor any significant cost to the planet. This point is essential. If you steal bread in order to eat, someone else is deprived of the bread. If you steal software, no one is deprived of that software.
Developers have to be paid for their time. If you're not paying them, they're not being compensated for their work. You can't claim you would never have bought it, because you don't know what would have happened if you didn't have the option of piracy. You might alternatively have acquired a different piece of software for the same purpose and therefore who produces it is effectively losing out on money. There's also the issue of rights. You have no right to use the software because the rights holder has not given you the right.
3. THERE ARE LIMITED COSTS TO THE CONSUMER. Some make the claim that pirates raise the cost of software. Because software is a virtual product, it contains little or no real-world costs. It is not something that reliably decreases in cost in mass production, or a drop in natural resources. There is little reason to assume that the cost of Windows 7 would decrease if everyone who ran it owned a genuine copy. It is more reasonable to assume Microsoft would absorb the additional revenue.
Microsoft is an awful example to use. Try the example of a company which only has one or two small software products. Every lost sale hurts them. Every person ringing up for support without having paid for the software hurts them.
4. NO NORTH AMERICAN SOFTWARE COMPANY HAS BEEN BANKRUPTED BY PIRACY. 2D Boy, maker of the World of Goo video game, claimed that 90% (really 82%) of its users were pirates. Soon its parent company Brighter Minds filed Chapter 11. Was it due to piracy? Not likely.
By your logic, it's okay for me to beat someone up, as long as I don't kill them. Just because the effects aren't as bad as they could be, doesn't mean it isn't wrong.
4. THE MORAL RIGHT OF VIRTUAL PRODUCT PRODUCERS IS ITSELF POLITICAL. This moral right to products of the imagination is not written into the laws of nature. It is a law created by people, originally conceived to be of benefit to society by safeguarding the incomes of inventors of new products and ideas. Today intellectual property rights law is the product of the intervention of large corporations, and are to their benefit. The benefit to the average person or to culture generally is questionable. Therefore the basis to this moral right is itself questionable.
Plenty of laws aren't laws of nature. The thing is that they're still laws. Unless the law is overtly immoral, you should be obeying it. I don't see too many pirates actually going and campaigning for change in the law. Instead they sit at home, downloading stuff.
5. SOFTWARE IS A FORM OF POWER WITH POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS. Software introduces novel forms of power into the world, which are employed by the end user. Software is therefore not merely technical or financial in nature, but also political because those who have access to software and its effects. An illustration: a child who has had a lifetime access to Photoshop will have marketable capacities children who did not have that access will not have. An illustration: citizens who possess copies of software developed for military and police functions will be informed about the powers of government. Software access is therefore one marker of privilege, deprivation, and citizenship. We might say software imposes costs on citizens by creating novel power gradients.
That's absurd. Software is just another tool. It's no more a form of power than any other tool. There is certainly no right for every citizen to have or have access to the same amount of 'power'. Your gripe is with unequal distribution of wealth because no-one is barred from purchasing tools as long as they have the money. What you really want is some sort of communist (and I don't intend that in the polemical sense) utopia.
6. THE CONSEQUENCES OF SOFTWARE IMPOSE A COUNTER LIMIT. The moral right of software developers is limited by the consequences of the software they produce. Software is socially, economically, and culturally disruptive. It changes the relation between the haves and have-nots. Because software developers impose effects on the world and on fellow citizens, these citizens have a right to impose limits on software developers. Software developers do not have an unlimited right to infinite profits, real or imagined.
You state opinions as if they were facts. You're again pretending that software is in some way different to any other tool or luxury when your reasoning could equally apply to a hammer or a Ferrari.
7. PIRACY SPREADS THE WEALTH. The spread of software by piracy is a redistribution of wealth, in this case from the privileged class of software developers and those who can afford those products, to the often much less privileged class of end users, many of whom cannot afford products. Poor people, and children who have no income benefit greatly by piracy. It is claimed that Walmart has single-handedly kept the standard of living level during decades of decline in real incomes. Likewise piracy benefits the poor and disenfranchised, leveling the playing field. Because this redistribution is gained at no real or virtual financial cost to the software developer piracy provides a valuable service to society effectively free of charge.
Again absurd. Piracy devalues whatever is being pirated, hurting the developer. Software is not a necessity or right so there is no reason to 'level the playing field'. You are making an a pirori assumption that everyone should be able to use any piece of software regardless of income.
8. AN ABSOLUTE INTERPRETATION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IS ITSELF AMORAL. An absolute interpretation of intellectual property rights ignores the costs imposed by software. It focuses on the producer, irrespective of the consequences on society, or the underprivileged.
IP rights are intended to benefit society by first of all encouraging people to produce IP and secondly by releasing it to society as a whole. You are so obsessed by the second that you ignore the first and ignore the necessity of the first in order for the second to occur.
Because it is a form of power, software should be free for all in a democratic, egalitarian society.
Why should forms of power be free? If I own a car and my neighbour doesn't, I am more powerful - does that give them a right to a free car? No. You've thought none of your arguments through.