@AC at 09:51
I think you'll find piracy tend to occur at sea and generally involve physical violence, murder, rape, kidnap and/or the removal/destruction of goods.
There is no comparison between that an copyright infringement. None. It is disgusting moral relativism to equate the atrocities of true piracy with someone making unlicensed copies of a CD/DVD.
"Any site knowingly carrying copyrighted materiel should be accountable to the law of the land and be legally obliged to make efforts to police itself."
I think you'll find that all sites carry copyrighted material and so they should, it's their material. The law is not universal, some states allow more fair-use/transformative work than others.
"There are surely enough genuine FOS issues around the world to keep the hackers occupied."
And the destruction of cultural heritage is just one. Would you like Bach, Shakespeare et al to still be under copyright? That's the future we are creating. Corporate greed is perverting copyright, patents and trademarks into doing things that they were never intended to for.
The infringing material exists because the people hosting it are providing the service the legitimate owners should be providing, but don't because they are not prepared to change their business models. Sure, if they did provide the service infringing material would still exist, but that's not new but I would be prepared to say that the level of infringement would be much lower.
Case in point: I record something on my PVR, can I watch it on my PC? *NO*! Why? DRM and a lack of connectivity. Crap like that is what drives people to infringing sites. I don't want to make a copy of the stuff, I just want to watch it where I happen to be sat and not be restricted by some total ass-hat of a lawyer.
I could (if I was allowed to connect my own device to the cable) build a HTPC and stream/do what I want (even to mobile) without any need of their services and DRM crap. And once I am out of this contract I'll probably switch to Freesat for just such a purpose. Their tight grip on their media is costing them customers. It's their fault and they have no one to blame but themselves. Will they change? No, they'll just offer more bribes for more laws.
FFS we are talking about people who crow about a movie making billions and yet claim innocence when their accounts show it made a loss (e.g. Harry Potter). Both can't be right, one has to be a lie if not a fraud.
Morally bankrupt and a cancer to culture. Those are the people you are defending.