I know this isn't a question that pops into the minds of most torrenters, but have you ever stopped to think?
One side of me feels for the copyright holders - if I were the one that was putting my blood, sweat, and tears into making a music album or a film or a game, I'd livid that people were just putting it up for grabs for nothing in return. All my hard work would have been for nothing for those people.
But the other side of me - the side I find showing itself more and more often - justifies it. More copyright holders than ever are actually PRAISING bittorrent for its potential for market growth, calling it "the new radio." It gets their material out, so I see how this could be potentially HELPFUL, especially for indie artists who are struggling to get their names into the community. For this reason a lot of artists and producers don't even care that their material is being pirated, but corporations like the MPAA and RIAA are just copyright-trolling and filing ridiculous lawsuits on unsuspecting torrenters.
The other thing in my opinion, mainly for software, is that a professional quality production/editing program of any kind is not at all affordable for the casual hobbyist/prosumer. Software like Photoshop, Pro Tools, and Final Cut Pro are practically the industry standard, and due to their price they intimidate a lot of potential customers. Anyone that wants to learn how to edit videos can only go so far using Windows Movie Maker, and if they can't afford professional quality software that's all they'll ever get exposed to. As long as whoever's using the software isn't profiting and is just using it for personal/educational reasons I think it's acceptable. The professionsals who do this stuff for a living are the ones who should have to pay for a $2000 piece of software in my book.
But that's just my two cents. What are your guys' opinions on piracy? Do you ever feel guilty for everything we stand for?