Re: "And it certainly didn't negatively impact DVD sales." YES IT DID
I up voted you because I agree with you, mostly.
Just so that you know I'm a socialist not a capitalist and have little trust of or faith in corporations, but corporations face a double-edged sword on this. If corporations allow unlimited piracy of the content they've created and own then why would anyone pay for it? So, a person might say that they, the corporation, should have earned enough from advertising to cover their costs and earn a nice profit, but why would most or many of us watch the show that has advertising when the the same show without advertising is also available?
Then there's also the issue of why we feel we deserve to just have these for free. When I was young we had three TV channels that were often a little fuzzy because of interference and technical what not stuff. Everyone got the same channels and had access to the same shows providing that you could afford a TV and an antennae. The industry (and TV show production) has changed a lot since then and many of the shows worth watching are on speciality channels that are part of a package, we pay extra for them if we want them.
The "we pay extra for them" and farther above the word "deserve" brings up other issues. There's a whole sociological argument as to what's fair and that really just as human beings we all deserve these things. For instance, as a middle income wage earner (well I used to be but apparently now that I have children my income which I would have previously considered enough puts us in the lower income wage level) and I can't afford to have the speciality channels that I'd like, or think that I'd like, although I do pay for one for my children.
The whole wage thing brings up another aspect of corporate profiteering through outsourcing, the reducing of wages for the same job or wage freezes. All of these further exacerbate the problem of "illegal downloading" as more and more of us can't afford to pay for any extras. On the other hand, many of us watch far to much TV and or spend too much time on the Internet, guilty as charged on both counts, and we would probably all profit from visiting the library, going for a walk or other such activity that costs little to nothing.
To summarize, corporations should be allowed and expect to earn a reasonable (what's reasonable?) profit for producing things people want and people should generally be able to afford to pay for the things they want, otherwise the system is broken.
IMHO the system is broken and we need to re-evaluate how the whole system works. No easy answers are there?
haha, now I have to laugh at my long and winding rant. It didn't start like that and I should really walk my dogs.