Let the convicted turn over the proceeds from their crime to the victim. Problem solved.
Wellllll.... not really.
1.) it doesn't work for non-financial crimes (rape, murder, but you're not talking about those anyway) or financially-motivated crimes that failed (botched bank robbery, smash-and-grab on a car with nothing valuable inside, but we're talking piracy here, and that shit ALWAYS works).
2.) Most financial crimes have additional, non-financial impacts. Smash my car window and steal my GPS, and I'm out $400 for the window, an afternoon of time to fix it, and $200 for the GPS, while you only gain the $50 the stolen GPS is worth. I don't want back the $50 you made by selling my GPS so much as I want back the afternoon I took off from work to replace my window (and the $400+$200). And I feel violated that some creep was rummaging through my car.
3. If the penalty for being caught and convicted is simply to "undo" the gain of the crime, you actually encourage MORE crime, since criminals will need to factor in "losses." Drug traffickers already do this--send twice as much dope, since half might get caught.
Suppose I rob people at knife-point for a living. I can rob 10 people a day, and generally net $50 per person. If I never get caught, I make $500 a day. If I get caught 100% of the time, I make nothing and quit doing it. Suppose I get away with it 50% of the time. Now I need to rob 20 people a day to make $500, since half the time I need to return the money. If you catch me 33% of the time, I need only rob 15 people to net $500 (after losses due to being caught and returning money). The more you catch me, the more people I need to rob tomorrow to make the same money. Since robbing people scares the shit out them, you're "making" me scare the shit out of more people to make my $500.**
**of course, this is "your" fault, since nobody is ever responsible for their own actions anymore...
4.) the knife-point robber is highly "efficient" in that his ill-gotten proceeds are 100% of the victims financial loss. Most financial crimes are less efficient. Take credit card fraud for example. Not only do you steal my money (or my bank's), but you waste the time of me, my bank, and the merchant in sorting it all out. We'd all rather you just stole the cash (perhaps not at knife-point though).
If you still don't believe me, let me ransack your house and steal $10 from you. When I'm done, I'll gladly give you back the $10, and you can spend the rest of the weekend cleaning up the mess. Problem solved. Deal?