Actually stealing music is worse than breaking into your house
For those people who try to make out that stealing music isn't as bad as breaking into someone's house, think about this. If I break into your house and steal your TV, the insurance company that you've been paying money to for years pays for you to get a new one. You spend a week or two deprived of your TV, but then you get a shiny new upgrade to the TV and other than an invasion of privacy and a small insurance excess, you actually finish off better off than before.
If I steal your music, I am depriving you of income, of the means to live. Worse still, because I haven't taken a physical product, other people can also steal the same thing. Now, if 100 people steal a song selling for £1, that isn't £100 in lost revenue, its probably more like £1 in lost revenue since a lot of those people wouldn't have bought the track if they couldn't steal it. But when a million people steal the track it's now a big issue, that's more like £10k in lost revenue. And a lot more people than that are stealing music.
It is important to see why it's a big issue though. Remember, most professional artists do not make much money, Billy Bragg is in a middle ground I suspect, comfortably well off, but not rich. But a hell of a lot of reasonably successful musicians aren't making that much money. Think of a band that spends a year producing an album, then shifts 100,000 copies of it (which is a lot - not platinum, but still a hell of a lot for most bands). Once the pie gets split up, the band gets 10% for performing it, and the songwriter around another 10%. Assuming the band has 4 members and 1 songwriter, each member gets £25k (before tax) and the songwriter £125k. This isn't money to get anyone rich, and £25k is below the average wage for the UK. At the same time, bands have expenses. Instruments to buy, studio time to rent, none of which is cheap. Now, you supplement that money with gigging which is more profitable, so long as you are filling venues, but if musicians don't get remunerated for spending a year or more producing an album they just won't do it. The only people who will continue doing it are the manufactured bands where the album is a key part of marketing the product.
Remember in this the history of some of the big, but quirky bands. Pink Floyd was successfully gigging for over 2 years before going into the studio. If the studio time wasn't going to make money, they might have just carried on gigging instead of producing some of the bestselling and most popular albums of all time. Dave Matthews Band had built a huge following through gigs and allowing bootlegging, when they independently released Remember Two Things and eventually went platinum with it. But if producing that album was going to be worthless would they have just carried on gigging? Probably.
Personally, I think music should be live, but albums provide a useful bridge in spreading the music for a worthwhile return. Yes, the music industry rapes musicians for every penny they have, and the fact that the musicians get about 10% from the album is criminal. Albums should be selling online for $5 each, with the bands taking around half of that (split between musicians and songwriters). That would be less income for the band per unit, but they would be selling lots and lots more. But just because the music industry rips off artists, does not give us the right to rip off the artists as well.
Remember that next time you download an album...