I don't want to get in a flame war with you but i have to reply since you blame me for piracy without knowing me. My English may be rusty but i think that i never mentioned or give the impression that i earned money through this...It was just my hobby..
Ok, let's get on that piracy matter. If it's-as you mention-highly illegal to share your MP3 collection with a friend, can we blame PC users for that mess? Although i haven't extensively researched the topic, and i can understand your loyal thesis as a moderator of the forum, i'll describe my point of view.. I will use MP3Mogul as an example because he has a lot of audio cd's like me. Suppose that he has a close friend as guest on his house:
-"Hey MP3Mogul, i just purchased a MP3 player for my car, can we burn a cd?" Just think about the simplicity of the sentence, this is a common scenario which in fact it daily happens all around the world and don't tell me not.... I can understand that it badly hurts music industry but what can we do about it?
Suppose now that MP3Mogul works in RIAA. Do you think that he would deny to burn that cd to his buddy? I don't think so.. Oh yes, i can see the case from an artist view that they loose money that way but hey...WHO is to blame? Microsoft for windows code which makes the entire process that i describe below a piece of cake, discographic companies for pure copy protection, OR civilians???
Now think about the simplicity of the entire process (the description that i'm referring above): If he has a Plextor 40x he can extract a full 74 minute audio cd in less than 2 and a half minutes. I personally don't use Lame as an encoder, i prefer Nero's Fraunhofer codec. In a fast machine the encoding finishes in few minutes (160kbs, Highest quality) , which also the case for the burning process.
I would like to insist on copy protections. If there was a strong copy protection, i personally wouldn't have the TIME or mood to practice a possible ***** found to bypass that protection. I believe that things won't be so easy with tomorrow's technology in dvd-audio, but for today's chaotic case i think nobody ever expected how simple things would be..
About the people who break-in my house. They didn't do that just once and their first motive wasn't to destroy my cd-roms... Many incidents of the past found an explanation now..They used the passkeys wisely, to spy me, installing spying equipment like webcams, wireless access points, creating passkeys of my car keys (many damages found inside of it :().. things like that... You may wondering WHY? Well, i'm in deep trouble in my personal life and i would like to stop this now and don't get into further details..