Originally Posted by mailman
It is simple. Chain begins from the person who distributes without permission someone's intelectual property. If such persons does it (no matter if it is original or pirated stuff) he/she breaks the law. If you download such stuff you are also taking part in crime (even if you own original of what you have downloaded). It is the same like with the burglar (pirate) who steals things (software) and then needs to sell them to the receiver of stolen goods (those who download or buy pirated stuff). Receiving stolen goods is also the crime.
i don't know if that's the case with data, while you are making a fine point about phisical objects. let me explain my point: electronic data are a long sequence of bytes, 0s and 1s, if they are in the same exact sequence of what you already own, how do you differ one packet of data from another? it's the same identical thing. they represent a concept you already encompass.
it's like you know a story and one guy retells you it exactly how you know it, you could not say that's new to you. of course, if there's 1 bit difference it is already another thing, but so to speak...