Re: I would suggest that for the cast majority of pirates
Let me counter. And let me further disappoint you by providing an argument that you have not 'guessed'.
And, the reason you have not guessed at it is that you are stuck in a way of thinking and have - either through ignorance or arrogance - blindly assumed that you understand the situation that others are in.
As we are discussing 'piracy', let us discuss the most pirated content of the current day - Game of Thrones.
Personally, I am abivalent but I understand that it is something of a phenomenom. I have heard it discussed at work and on the train and in the street and I have seen more 'Which Game of Thrones character are you?' questionnaires thancould possibly be useful.
From this, and from trying (in vain) to prevent people blabbing details about Breaking Bad, I understand that discussion of the latest plot developments is an apparently enjoyable past-time for many people.
SO, I accept that seeing episodes in a timely fashion is important for fans. Doing so allows them to participate in the 'community' that seemingly all content trys to cultivate these days. (It is no longer enough to simply enjoy, apparently - one must discuss and 'share' and tweet and so on.)
Back on point, GoT season 4 was available in Australia on subscription pay TV and only on subscription pay Tv. At least as it was aired. One could get it after the fact, of course, but if you wanted to 'keep up' then you have one and only one option - fork out for Foxtel. At the time, the minimum cost to see the entire 4th season of GoT - as it aired - was three figures.
Even as someone who didn't care, my response was unreapeatable in polite company.
Understand, too, that in Australia we only JUST got Netflix. As in a month ago.
Honestly, our online, streaming option were largely limited to 'catch-up' TV and that is not only also a recent arrival but also an incomplete one as quite a few shows are not licensed for access so we can't watch them on 'catch-up'. For example, while both 'Dexter' and 'Supernatural' (whatever) are watchable on free-to-air here, Dexter is available on 'catch-up' while 'Supernatural' is not.
And this is the kind of thing that leads to 'piracy'. You miss an episode of 'Supernatural' on free-to-air so you go to 'Ten-Play' to view it the next day, only to find that, while every reality TV show you despise is watchable, the one show you want isn't.
So you end up finding an OS site that does not use geoblocking and you watch it online. You are now a 'pirate' - at least so far as the content owners will count.
You missed a show that was free to watch but, due to ridiculous 'profit-maximising' deals, you had to choose between waiting for the box-set or 'pirating'.
Sure, some people are just scabs and with take whatever they want wherever they can. BUT, the far larger portion of those the lobby groups label 'pirates' are really just ordinary people who have only become acquainted with illegal downloading/streaming through the ridiculous, anti-consumer decisions of the providers.
And this is the story.
Once people have experienced how easy it is to download content 'illegally', they are more likely to do it again.
Any that is the way of it - for the sake of trying to wring a more lucrative licensing deal out of one TV station in one (small) market, people have been driven to search for a way to watch content and that has led then to learn how to download content illegally where they previously didn't know how.
Is it 'right'?
But this is what happens and it is important to understand the factors that can turn a normal, every-day person into a 'criminal'. (So far as the lobby groups - and therefore the politicians they have bought - are concerned.)