Re: And they wonder why...
We are in a period of transition from a time when so-called 'intellectual property' (IP) was inextricably linked to particular instances of a substrate (e.g. paper, celluloid, and vinyl) and thus it was natural to identify 'content' with its physical manifestation. Consequently, 'content' could be traded just like other goods. Scarcity, supply, demand, and competition - ingredients of traditional market-economics - would apply and monetary value could be ascribed to each instance of physically embodied 'content'. In theory, there could be 'price discovery'.
From inception of copyright (which by intention applied to entitlement to distribute 'content on physical media) only the distorted market-economics of monopoly could apply. Concepts of ownership and price persisted unhindered. Moreover, well into the 20th century logical distinction between 'content' and substrate (i.e. medium and message) was little mentioned because in practice the qualitative differences were inseparable. Introduction of photocopying and its widespread implementation may have marked general understanding that printed 'content' does not depend for existence on pre-determined physical instances (e.g. books) possessing scarcity. Thereafter, copyright became an increasingly contentious matter, especially in academic libraries. Contention broadened as it became apparent that other cultural artefacts (e.g. sound recordings) were separable (e.g. by home taping) from their initial medium of distribution.
Introduction of digital encoding and ease of replicating sequences of binary digits destroyed ersatz scarcity as defensible means for extracting income from creative endeavour. Thus have arisen 'copyright wars', these increasing in intensity as the futility of 'protecting' digital sequences by corralling them within pay-walls becomes ever more apparent. Obviously, computer software in its various guises (i.e. source code printed on paper, source code in digital format, and fully compiled code) is as prone to escape into the wild as the caterwauling of a 'pop star'.
Although vested interests, primarily distributors rather than creators, would have one believe otherwise, the matter is not one of ownership 'rights' versus 'theft' (a legal concept that can't apply to indefinitely reproducible sequences). Practicability rather than morality is in contention. If a farmer cannot build strong enough fences his livestock will stray and may reproduce of its own accord. The analogy goes further when one considers stray animals mating with strays from elsewhere; that gives rise to possibility of hybrid vigour among offspring; this vigour is counterpart to cultural exuberance consequent upon 'derivation' from extant works in copyright; 'derivation' is almost completely forbidden during copyright terms (up to lifetime of author plus 70 years); long periods of 'protection' represent fallow ground and introduce delay between a work leading to a creative offshoot from another person.
Of course, creators of 'content' which people choose to value (culturally) need encouragement and must be enabled to make a living. Yet, under current conditions their efforts will become increasingly futile. No longer may they assume that their 'product' has arbitrarily determined monetary value and can draw rental (royalties) for long periods. Instead, what they may place into a genuine market is their skill to make 'content' people desire. They, individually and in collectives, must persuade people by a variety of voluntary means (e.g. patronage, subscription, donation, and sale of added value products) to fund their next endeavour. If they have sufficient support to make a full time living, they must set aside some income towards a pension. There being no longer need for 'rights' holding intermediaries will change the market dynamic and usher in cultural renaissance.
In many respects software production and distribution is well down this pathway. The open source movement is benefiting traditional vendors as well as new entrants to software development. The final step is for current vendors like Microsoft to grasp that their digital products have zero direct monetary worth (and will freely be copied as belonging to the Commons) whereas maintenance, support, innovation, and bespoke services will provide income. Perhaps, monoliths like Microsoft have had their day. Maybe, software production and related services are better suited to cottage sized industry. In that context, Microsoft and producers/distributors of other kinds of 'content' are becoming modern Luddites (wielding law rather than iron bars to protect their interests) whilst workers in cottages are the cutting edge of the maturing digital revolution.