Stealing is, of course a Bad Thing, but somebody needs to get this one in perspective.
First, copyright is virtual property, not like real property. Although it represents real work on somebody’s part, and some degree of hardship if not honoured, you can’t argue that it necessarily has the same impact as physical theft. The whole point of copyright is that it deals with additional copies of a product.
Second, the value of copyright depends largely on popularity and willingness to pay, and not so much on intrinsic value. Putting a cost on infringement is often a matter of who can shout loudest.
Finally, real crimes such as assault, abuse and manslaughter often attract lesser sentences. The problem is that the victims, especially the dead ones, generally have poorer resources, so don’t have the same ability to pressure politicians.