A whole bunch of people have been whining about the low capacity of the new iPod Touch and its previous incarnation as the iPod phone. However, it would cost thousands of dollars to fill one up. A 160GB iPod? Well, you do the math.
Anyway, I'm not sure when stealing became OK, but apparently it is now socially acceptable. And not just among teens. Adults with plenty of disposable income spend small fortunes on computers, MP3 and high speed (aka high bandwidth) Internet, but balk at paying a buck for a song. A dollar!
Teachers in Ontario have clearly seen the light by buying Bell: teenagers who steal music are becoming adults who steal music. And they need "high speed' Internet and are willing to pay for it (ironically, more than they ever would have on CDs or reccords).
I'm sure there are plenty of legitimate reasons for needing high bandwidth Internet, online gaming for example, but I'm sure plenty of Bell's and Rogers' customers are using it for illegal purposes.
That said, music is often, essentially, free. You hear it on the radio all the time. Clubs and bars blast it. And even when you do actually pay out of pocket for it, most of the money goes to the distributor, not the people who made the music. Musicians such as Alanis Morisette often make most of their money from shows, not albums. People who refuse to pay a dollar for a song will pay $80 to see an artist sing it...
The argument againts pirating software is we need the stuf to stay productive, and if the people who earn a living making it can no longer buy food, they'll spend their time doing something else. The free software model is based on the dubious buisiness model of people paying for tech support to fix problems caused by bad, albeit free, software.
But would people stop making music if they couldn't make money from it? I doubt it. Maybe music should be produced by amateurs, who have real jobs. Art, perhaps, should be a hobby. Maybe music should be free!