I have no problem facing things honestly. I steal because I cannot afford things. As one of the previous repliers posted, it would be very difficult for most of us to accrue skills in much needed software if we were to have to purchase it on our own. I wouldn't be in the position I am today if it weren't for pirated software. But let's make a real division between software stolen for personal use and that stolen for commercial use. For personal use, I may steal Photoshop to frack around or edit my personal pictures, but I make no profit off of it. The bigger worry for Adobe should be businesses making profit off of stolen software.
The problem I see with your argument is twofold. First, you assume that the current legal landscape is correct, or even if you do not you think that we should follow those laws regardless. Most pirates would argue that the laws are wrong and that they pirate as something of an act of civil disobedience. If Obama came on TV and said he passed a law that said "Thou shalt kill their neighbor" (while we're making inane arguments...) how many people do you think would kill their neighbors just because there was a law saying so? Well, copyright laws are similarly inane and even easier to break because they can be broken without your neighbor knowing about it. With personal, private property intact and no reasonable cause for search and seizure, most cases of copyright infringement almost come down to a matter of intellectual infringement. It's the data, not the medium, that they want to control.
Second, your analogy with squatting misses the mark. Squatters squat in abandoned places that no one else is using, not the private homes of individuals. A squatter in the piratic sense (I just made that word up) would be someone who picked up CDs or albums off the side of the road or maybe bought them used (another topic altogether). Pirates do not break into peoples houses to steal their CDs or burn copies of them, those are burglars. Piracy is about spreading data around... giving what you have in exchange for what others have (unless you're just leeching, which is generally frowned upon... who says there's no honour among thieves?).
And while we're on the topic... It seems to me that media is itself to blame to some extent. According to the theories put forth by memeticists (made that one up too), ideas can have a life of their own and want to be passed on. Add to that the wonderful work done by psychologists in ad companies to induce us to buy all their goods and it would seem to me that this current trend in pirating is a matter of them doing their jobs too well. As a consumerist society we're induced to always buy more more more. Have "The White Album" on LP and Cassette? Why not spring another $19.95 for it on CD? You say you have 1000 Dalmations on VHS? But I bet you've never seen it with the digital clarity that Blu-Ray can give you... People are induced to get more than they can ever actually obtain, so when the golden carrot of piracy is dangled in front of them, what do you expect?
The fact is that most people don't feel guilt for downloading MP3s from TPB. The powers that be have tried to induce such guilt with exorbitant lawsuits (Jammie anyone?) but the fact is that it's not going to work. Has the death penalty stopped murderers? Child rapists? Pot smokers? No. Punishment does not deter crime, even in the punished. The only thing that will change the current situation is a paradigm shift, a fundamental shift in the way we a) think about the consummation of goods, and/or b) the way these companies run their businesses and treat their clients. And I think that's kind of what the pirates are all hoping for... cultural change. Hmm, civil disobedience doesn't sound so absurd in that light as when I first mentioned it. I think I'll go steal something now!
- Run Internet Exploder (starts-up then crashes five minutes later)
I concede. I confess. Only windows can run Internet Exploder effectively.
"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them seemed to come from Texas." - Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"