DeeCee - 7:25 am on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)
Whether current terms could be improved or not, saying that stealing other people's content (copyright breach or their hard work and investment) is not the equivalent to theft is about the dumbest thing I could imagine.
How can you argue that that people that spend a lot of time creating content (whether video/writings/images) should just think of "maximizing the public good", and should not think that someone taking their hard work are mere thieves?
There is no "maximizing public good" about content theft, or copyright violation. Merely a case of lazy bums that do not want to do their own work or pay their own way, and instead steal the work, time, investment, and property of others, because it is the easiest path to take through life.
Content thieves (whatever the format) are no different from the people breaking into other people's houses to steal their electronics or jewelry, or people that knock out the windows of your car and steal the car stereo.
Fortunately, typical covering laws agree with that.
You are correct that the punishments are "disproportionate". The punishment for content theft is not high enough, in my opinion. If you break into a house and steal other people's stuff, you end up in jail. Stealing other people's work, time, and money through content theft should be no different. Just because it is easier to steal content than to steal "car stereos", the punishment for theft should not be any lower.