Re: Reality 101
"If you chose to violate law and pirate, you should expect harsh punishment as you know full well that you are violating law."
Technically, I am a pirate if I buy a DVD, rip it to XviD, and then watch it myself (alone) on my netbook or my phone. Because ripping DVDs is not permitted, says so in the tiny print. However, I cannot purchase a version to watch on my phone because thanks to "intellectual property" paranoia, if something I want to watch is available, it has many strings attached (you need to be online, you need a certain app, it only works on certain phones, etc etc).
"Your denial and ignorance does not make you above the law."
Your denial and ignorance doesn't make you seem anything more than a bleating shill.
Consider: I can purchase a music CD from the UK, France, Japan, America... so long as I pay postage, I can get it. Conversely, purchasing an MP3 is an exercise in testing my nerves. Not only does the song (and the version I want, not some remixed one) have to be available, but it needs to be available in my territory. How is this logical? A song is a song. There are many many songs I would happily buy for €0,50-€1 a pop if they were openly available, but it seems to me that the easier it should be to obtain music, the harder it is to actually find it legally.
Consider: There was a law in America that stated that the term of copyright was X years. Recently this was arbitarily extended to Y years - probably for that damned mouse. So all of the older material that would have fallen out of copyright suddenly is shut away for a bunch more years on the lobbied demands of megacorps. When and where did the public have a say in this? As little of memorable consequence comes to mind from the last fifty years, I can imagine the term of copyright will be pushed further and further into insanity.
Consider: Most people, with normal jobs, do something - get paid - and then they carry on. Whether it is baking the perfect cupcake, cleaning a toilet, or saving somebody's life, all sorts of people perform all sorts of jobs which help enrich our lives. Even the burger-flipper at McDo - that's saved me the time it would have taken to cook something, and it has fed me when I was hungry as opposed to me feeding myself when I got around to it. Yet, "content creation" is the only set of careers where the work of specific people (the sound engineer probably won't see royalties for his work) exercise the right to benefit from their creations decades down the line. Now I don't disagree with the basic concept of copyright, however I believe that something that is no longer being commercially exploited should fall out of copyright; or otherwise after around fifteen years... except in specific cases of continual use - ie That-Damned-Mouse has an entire industry built around it, so we can assume continual use. However something that was made, then that's that, should fall out of copyright after a reasonable length of time. "Breakfast At Tiffany's" or "It's A Wonderful Life"...
Is it right that one industry perverts the concept of copyright to guard its profits?
Is it right that lobbyists would like copyright infringement (theft implies something taken) to be a criminal act?
Is it right that it is considered acceptable to want to snoop on the communications of citizens on the event that they might be engaging in unlawful acts? Do we get to spy on media moguls and the politicians that support such crap?
Is it right that a blanket levy is applied to blank media "because of copyright infringement" in a country [France] where such infringement is now unlawful and may be punished under a three strikes system and may additionally be punished in court? For ripping Emili Sandé's latest hit (god help you, the girl can't carry a tune IMHO...) you stand to be punished three times - blank media, possibility of disconnection, possibility of court verdict.
In the UK, look to the laws on orphaned works kicking around. While the EU has plans in mind for the non-commercial use of supposedly orphaned works; in the UK (and a country where some sections of the press routinely take copyrighted material, publish it, and acknowledge it with rubbish like "(c) Internet"), this use of material with no clear owner is planned to extend to commercial use. Or, to put it another way, we're supposed to respect the request not to rip a DVD for our own personal use while equally we may be unlucky enough to have some image or whatever that we created used commecially and we'd see what from it? If anything, it looks like it might fall upon us to show that our supposedly-copyright work was not an orphaned work - what the hell? And then instead of having doors kicked in at the offices of big media outlet and the cops walking away with all their computers and potential fines of tens of thousands if not more... we might be lucky to get a token payment that probably wouldn't cover the hassle and certainly wouldn't reflect the value of the work as it was being used.
[tl;dr - start here]
Do you not see the very obvious flaws in the copyright system? Do you not understand why more than a couple of people do not wish to support it, or even want to pay much attention to it? It is, in its current incarnation, loaded too much in favour of big media and too much against the little guy. If we mess with stuff we legally purchased, we're screwed. If we download stuff, we're screwed. If we make our own content that big media decides it likes, we're screwed. Are you seeing a trend here?