A crime is a crime. The level of the crime should be looked at on a case by case basis. Piracy is stealing and someone that does it should suffer the same consequences as a person that robs a bank or a convenience store. We need to crack down on criminals.
I think it should probably just be a small fine for repeat offenders. But it's not like celebrities don't have enough money anyway. A pirated song isn't going to make them lose their mansion.
Severe crimes, like rape and murder, are what should be taken seriously in comparison to piracy. Piracy is just basically shoplifting, except at home and with a computer.
I think the fact that someone who commits piracy can end up with five years in prison while the Steubenville rapists only got a year in prison (as well as sympathy from the news readers) is a massive joke, and not a funny one at that.
Piracy is no more severe than shoplifting. There are many people who use these sites as a way to test the music before purchasing the music themselves. If the album is no good, you're not going to want to buy it. If it's a great album, you'll want to run out and purchase it. If someone doesn't purchase the music, it really isn't a critical situation. I wouldn't put so much emphasis on it.
What is piracy? It is essentially theft.
When we look at the punishment and the crime, though, they are ridiculously out of proportion. If you pirate ten or twelve songs, the numbers of songs on an average CD, the potential fines and prison time are widely out of proportion with what would happen if you were to steal a CD.
I do believe that people should be punished, but the punishments handed out should actually fit with the crimes that they are committing, not be based on the whining and moaning of corporations that are already loaded with cash.
Piracy is not at a leveled threat of that as murder, yet some get convicted longer then murderers. I myself have pirated many games, only to test run them before buying, so I did not have to put my trust into mainstream critics. I have bought every game I have pirated once I decided I like them and the ones I don't went straight to the trash.