Illegally downloading music, movies, software, and other forms of cyber media is a more common occurrence now than it has ever been. Unfortunately, media pirating is not a victim-less crime. Many people think that for multi-million dollar companies, losing a dollar on one song is not a big deal. While this may be true, this philosophy applied to a massive amount of people does put a large dent in profits. On top of this, media piracy is not always limited to million dollar corporations. The livelihoods of musicians, directors, actors, editors, programmers, and many more workers who generate any kind of online product.
This being said, I do not think that piracy can be compared to stealing a physical product. The key difference between the two is possession of an item. Most products sold online can be copied. When someone steals a song, movie, or computer software, they are not removing the original from it’s rightful owner. If someone was to steal an actual item, such as a car, this removes it from the original owners possession, making it impossible for them to utilize it or sell it. It is also important to note that many people who pirate media would not pay for the product if there was not the pirating alternative. More than likely, there would not be a noticeable increase in sales profits if the ability to pirate was completely removed.