My basic philosophy on piracy can be pretty well summed up by the above picture that I found in this post’s amazing comment thread.
However, this doesn’t mean that just because piracy isn’t theft, it’s morally justifiable. If the content creator/owner is cool with it and expresses that viewpoint publicly, then the pirate is not doing anything morally wrong. Copy, share, and remix your heart out. If the content creator/owner is not okay with piracy and has expressed that publicly, then the pirate has done something morally wrong.
If you are a content creator/owner who isn’t okay with piracy, I have but one word for you: Why?
Why are you upset that people care enough about your music to want to upload it to the web and share it with as many people as humanly possible? They are doing your promotional work for you! Sure, you may see less digital sales of your music, but you will be getting much more exposure in the process, and there is a much greater likelihood that more people will start showing up at your gigs, or ending up on your official website where they can interact with you and buy whatever higher margin items you are offerring.
Getting government involved in music piracy just isn’t worth the trouble, the lobbying, or the tax dollars. The last thing this world needs is more government. There are much larger issues in the world that need attention. Instead of being smug about it, I think that embracing piracy as an opportunity rather than a threat is a much more productive philosophy.