To Steal or not to Steal?

"To steal, or not to steal--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler to share and to offer
The Kazaa's and e-Mules the outrageous good fortune
Or to take arms against the RIAA of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to hear--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The music, and all the thousand free softwares
That every user is heir to. "
-Hirak Parikh
(With due apologies to the Bard)

I-pod which is unarguably the best portable MP3 player produced a new baby a few days ago called the I-Pod mini. Priced at $249 which tempts people like me to buy an i-pod finally.
A few days ago Archos, an obscure French company made news with the introduction of a portable DVD player. This gave the film industry a few shivers, as this might increase the already rampant movie rips to the mp3 proportions.

These two recent events brings up the question. To steal or not to steal? I heard someone proclaim to me a while ago the he never downloaded music because he respected the artist too much and those that loved music ended up buying music anyway. I agree with the latter.
What we see is quite a contradictory technological development. On one hand we have manufacturers making CD writers, DVD writers, I-Pos and the Archos cheaper and cheaper which DEFINITELY increase the temptation to "Burn rather than buy" and efforts by others (Sony, et al) to make discs that are playable only. Already there are people in the docket for downloading files thanks to the RIAA. Despite the fact that records sales grew, despite the numerous Kazaa's around.
My opinion is that regardless of what companies might try to do there will be many maverick 'Napsters' out there ready to make/break the system. What people get for free they won't want to pay. Take email for instance.

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