Guess what else the studies show, all else being equal, adding a RLC to an intersection increases the number of accidents and injuries
Point to any study that shows this for which the increase in accidents and injuries cannot be attributed to other variables (such as the city reducing the yellow light timing, thus actively trying to use the RLC as a money-making scheme).
Otherwise, yeah... I agree with what you are saying.
I would argue that although I agree with some of your conclusions, I would disagree that the customer gains nothing by paying for a digital work.
What a person gains by paying for digital content is trust... trust from the publisher that their interests will continue to be respected in the future, and in so doing, provide some incentive to the publisher to continue to provide publications that can continue to enrich society. Copyright is supposed to be a trade... the publisher is supposed to get something, and the public is supposed to get something. DRM is not a trade at all... it's the publisher invoking self-censorship so that instead of permitting society to be enriched by the works that they make, instead only a few actually may benefit, because the publisher has placed arbitrary restrictions on the manner in which the work may be used.
Now to some people, the trust that they might gain by paying for the work may not be worth what is being charged for the work... but really, that is an entirely subjective evaluation, and it's unfair to suggest matter-of-factually that a person always gains absolutely nothing by paying for such works.
As I said, however, your conclusion is one I can definitely sympathize with... certainly with the presence of DRM, a customer is *always* better served pirating the information... and I would only argue that this might be a ubiquitous truth about digital content only to the same extent that DRM itself is quite universally used by publishers (which with most works these days, it unfortunately seems to be).
Copyright, when it was introduced, was a kind of attempt on the part of publishers to hold onto some of the control that they used to have over their works by mere virtue of the fact that previously it had been too diificult, error-prone, and expensive to try to copy somebody else's work. It was a large money sink with very little commercial benefit, so previously, it was not a problem...
Then the printing press came about, and a lot of that changed. Suddenly it was possible for people with access to sufficient, but still definitely very finite resources to copy a work in a manner that would be economically practical at scales that were achievable without much additional cost beyond the initial investment of a printing press.
Enter copyright... a means to artificially try to limit what the general public was permitted to do with a work that claimed such protection. Basically, copyright was a kind of informal contract between society and the publisher which went something along the lines of if society agrees, even if simply out of courtesy, to respect the original publisher of a work and refrain from copying it, the publisher will, in turn, be given sufficient incentive to trust that they won't try to do likewise to future works, thus offering some incentive to continue to produce new such works. In exchange, of course, the public would receive access to the work, and be enriched by it, where it would otherwise be kept in very strict confidence, perhaps seen only by a very select few or the elite. Laws were eventually created to protect this publisher interest, but in the end, it was still just a publisher trying to control something that they could not possibly control once they had actually gone and published a work anyways.
As copying got easier for the public to do, and copyright infringement started becoming more of a problem, publishers began to lose confidence in the protections that copyright alone once appeared to offer them (although such control was really all just illusory the whole time... it just happened to have backing by the law), and started trying to resort to other means to protect what they perceived were their interests. Unfortunately, DRM, which restricts the circumstances under which people who might legitimately purchase such a work can access it, ultimately amounts to exactly the same sort of self-censorship that copyright itself was designed to prevent... it limits the public availability of the work, and in turn, limits how much society can be enriched by it. With laws that actively protect DRM, as copyright was once protected, the situation can only get even worse.
We made a seriously wrong turn somewhere along the line... and I can only pray that somehow, some way, we can fix this thing before the damage becomes irreversible.