"The recording and publishing industries do creative work? That's news to me! I thought it was the artists, who studies show have been receiving more income since file sharing's been around."
Gotta comment on that one my friend. The artist creates the work, and then sells the rights to distribute it to the distributor. They then distribute it. If they cannot monetise the legal rights they *bought* from the artist, why would they continue to buy them? The artists will suffer more than the distributor. If your work isn't distributed who will know that your gigs are worth paying to attend?
"The recording/publishing industries are redundant, since they offer the service of copying which everyone can do now."
There are certainly other methods of distribution beyond what the existing large companies are very good at. Whether they are as effective or not at generating income for the artists is a different point though.
Just look at how much a new band raked in when on their own label, compared to what they get from signing to Parlophone etc.
It comes down to this - ppl want to d/l stuff without paying for it because they can. The risks are almost non-existant. They can convince themselves that nobody is being hurt ("I wasn't going to buy it anyway so nobody has lost out") and so it's fine in their opinion.
The "wasn't going to buy it anyway" argument isn't so great though. It overlooks the point that now you *won't* buy it, whereas you might have changed your mind if you hadn't d/l-ed it.
I'm also entirely unconvinced by the argument that copying is fine as the owner remains in possession of the item. It stems from a terribly misunderstanding of *what* is being "stolen". The distributor holds the exclusive *rights* and can resell non-exclusive rights. By d/l'ing an item and making a copy of it you infringe those rights, making them less valuable. Like counterfeiting cash for example. As at the top of this post, devalue the rights and the distributors won't pay as much for them. That hurts the artists.
If you want to d/l stuff then go for it - I don't judge ppl for that. Trying to make your actions seem legitimate is what riles me - it's the actions of a coward.