"If it takes locking up an entire generation for them to learn to respect the laws of society, so be it."
You said it well there Paul. Laws of Society! The laws and regulations under discussion didn't come from society. They came and come from corporate entities. They exist to serve a financial end not a social good. These laws and regulations corrupt the functioning of society by placing real people under the bullying arm of abstract entities that have few freedoms to lose by persecuting file sharers. Nor do those entities risk destitution and quality of life.
As for the profit losses, beside the fact that most file sharers would never purchase anyway else they do purchase after they've trialled the item, are those profit losses based on the actual amount stood to be made from the raw sale of goods i.e as a download in absence of physical product and packaging (eg no CD, DVD, case, artwork, paper, card, transaction fees, advertisement etc...)?
Paul, have you ever recorded a film from TV with the intention to watch it later when you have more availability? If you have, have you ever forgotten to record over the recording so as to appease your conscience? Were downloading of copyrighted materials without payment made explicitly legal for the purpose of trial before purchase, would you download and file share? Would you trust yourself to delete the download if chose not to purchase?
I suspect you don't realize you are a bully whom is trying to determine others' actions by hiding behind copyright law and regulation. I hope that one day soon, you come to understand the nonsense in your argument.
I am not saying that copyright infringement is right; I am saying that I disagree with the current system of copyright "agreements". They are hardly agreements when the terms are set by one side and the only option is to not enter into them when you disagree with them.
Also, I am not saying I agree with ripping off talent; but, where music is concerned, I do think that were people given the option to download and pay the band/artist directly then I'm sure people would pay.
There are many alternatives to the present system of paying for intangible items. It seems to me that corporations aren't interested in exploring them. Neither are they concerned with understanding some of the more ethical reasons for downloading e.g downloading in lieu of purchase when access to a real world outlet is unavailable and cash is the only means for payment.