If the movie/music companies, (aka: the most greedy/sleazy entities on the planet) had simply made their movies/music more affordable from the beginning, no one would have wanted to go to all the trouble to copy or download inferior music files to get around the high cost.
As much as I’d like to bash the record companies, I’m going to have to disagree. People steal music because it’s free and easy. People steal crap music that they’ll hardly listen to, because they can. People steal music that they’ll hardly listen to, because like all their specialty lenses camera components that they hardly use, people get into collecting useless crap because they want to have a big collection they can tell people about. People can definitely afford to buy the songs that they really enjoy listening to, but they don’t, because people don’t see it as stealing from these big bad record companies.
Cost doesn’t have much to do with it. I see kids at Starbucks getting $5 coffees, on iPhones with unlimited data plans, driving fancy cars that they can afford to fill at $4 a gallon. They can afford a $15 album or $1 song if they wanted, but why pay when you can just steal it for free. Sorry to digress, but lets compare apples to apples.
Eh. We'll have to agree to disagree. I guess it could be seen that way if you grew up in the last 20 years since the Internet has been in place, credit has been easy and consumer affluency has been so high. But I assure you that in the decades leading up to the 90's, people didn't collect as much stuff or have as much disposable money. And the recording industries were as greedy or more so. Most of the artists making the content were shafted, screwed and left in the cold along with the consumers being shafted on the other end with high prices and ultra cheap cassettes and 8 track tapes.
I will agree that many folks tend to collect/amass things that are free simply because they can, esp kids with lots of free time. But I don't think that necc supports the reason why MP3 music was created or became popular in the first place. The battles between artists/consumers and the recording industry is a long one. In our family, we download pirated TV shows for one reason, convenience. We want to watch something at another time or in a series all together and sometimes it doesn't get recorded on the DVR and isn't available online or on DVD yet. We rent or purchase a lot of online content, music CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, etc but when things aren't provided by the legitimate providers, we will occasionally download something because it's not available any other way. The content providers should understand this and use it to their advantage, not fight it.
I'm not sure what circles you run in but I don't see a large percentage of the population able to afford most of what you say they are buying at Starbucks, luxury car dealerships, etc. But unfortunately it happens anyway because there are no controls on what anyone does with their entitlement money from the government. Believe me, my wife works in a county hospital, she sees a lot of "poor" people with nicer manicures, phones and clothes than our family has and that's just sad. Our landscaper's daughter drives a Hummer but she can only afford to drive it on the weekends. The phenomenon of poor folks spending money in all the wrong places has been going on for a long time as well. Probably as long as govt assistance has been around and then probably longer still.
It's truly a strange world and it's getting stranger every year.