graeme_p - 5:43 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)
Breach of copyright is not theft, it is breaking a government granted monopoly. Take a look at the original justifications for copyright law (still applicable in the US because its in the constitution).
The idea is to give people an incentive to maximise the public good.
Theft of physical property has always been illegal, not something that was invented fairly recently.
I do think copyright is a good idea, but current terms are ludicrous (something written when Queen Victoria was alive should not be still in copyright in the EU), and the penalties are disproportionate, as is the use of increasing amounts of public money meant for fighting serious crime on copyright enforcement (but only for big media, I doubt that the US Department of Homeland Security or the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency are going to take down any sites ripping off my content.