@ctrlbreak. Essentially I agree with you over copyright.
I'm using hyperbole of course. Why else would anyone read boring stuff on copyright otherwise? However, that's the problem, the masses have always considered the fine print of copyright treaties etc. as something that doesn't concern them but they've done so at their peril.
Treaties and such are always a problem for the layperson; he/she usually has no advocate to go in batting for him* and doesn’t understand the significance until it's too late. Whereas those who've a vested interest and who are pushing the agenda--here copyright holders and or their agents RIAA etc.--have a strict well organised agenda and well funded budgets for lobbying, and of course they usually get exactly what they want (and with copyright is was 100%+).
As far as I'm aware, there's never been such a one-sided treaty in history as the Berne Convention on Copyright. Most treaties are intergovernmental where there's a high level of vested interest on all sides that provides a power balance tension for bargaining. With copyright, the individual citizen has become the adversary and essentially he's was never represented in the treaty and law making process over copyright, thus the complete one-sidedness of copyright law. When Berne was set up the individual was essentially dismissed or ignored, for back in 1886 (a) there was no Internet to fileshare stuff and (b) copyright was primarily aimed at big boys fighting each other, for only they had the technical resources, printing presses etc., that were capable of violating copyright, thus policing copyright was relatively easy. Until the advent of the Internet policing copyright was essentially a non issue for the copyright monopolists.
"The problem is that the copyright holders and their lobbies have turned this into a farce by simply making up silly numbers for the damage done by an individual sharing a file.
What they really should have done was embrace this distribution model, perhaps making small amounts for what is essentially a FREE channel to market. Something that I (and I believe the majority of genuine users) would probably be happy to pay"
Absolutely correct, but when you have a total absolute monopoly over copyright for over 100 years (and remember copyright and patent law wasn't new with Berne, they go back as far as the 1600's. Berne just focused the issue and made it possible to sue both nationally and internationally. With copyright essentially having gone unchallenged for over 100 years these monopolists are not very savvy when it comes to bargaining with the masses, (a) they out of practice and (b) they're only used to lobbying pliant governments, thus their ham-fisted approach.
The real issue for copyright users is a proper respectable advocate to put their case. At present there is no one single body, just a lot of disparate disorganised groups. Until such a lobby gets its act together and turns copyright and patenting issues into a real hot political agenda not much will happen on the legislative front to redress the issues of imbalance.
Re a Radio Caroline-style setup having difficulty accessing the Internet. I see this as essentially inconsequential. Throughout the world there are any number of service providers who have no qualms hosting virus writers spammers etc. thus it's only money that separates a Pirate Bay ship from a direct satellite link to fast Internet access. You'd only stop such activity when you stop spamming and virus distribution worldwide, and I reckon we're a long way off that yet. Anyway, the point is moot, the chances of it happening are almost zilch (although a 'spoofed' spam-type version in some compliant county is always a possibility).
* The government ought to be his advocate but it's been corrupted by copyright lobbyists who've bought its ear. As 'The State' theoretically is power invested within the citizenry, supporting the lobbyists at the expense of the greater utilitarian good is, in essence, a corruption of process. Addressing this issue would be a good place for copyright reformers to start.