arenaman: You're not *taking* something without permission, you're *copying* it. That's where the difference is. If I look at a piece of paper that you've drawn something on and take a photo of it, I haven't stolen your drawing. I've copied it without your permission. Of course taking something without permission is stealing - noone's arguing against that fact.
I'm not saying it's right to copy music or software without permission. I just feel it's the music/movie industry's propaganda that tries to call these activities stealing. It's worth noting that a downloaded copy of something doesn't equal a lost sale. Would someone who has hundreds of films/songs on his computer really have bought all of them? I know my purchases of music had previously increased significantly bceause of me downloading a couple of songs and liking them so much I bought the album. I don't buy nor download much mainstream music nowadays because I disagree with the RIAA's actions.
P2P networks were around long before they were used for the illegal distribution of copyright material. Please check your facts before making sweeping statements. I would count a network such as Fidonet as being P2P and that was long before the Internet as we know it.
I urge everybody to read arguments on both sides of the P2P debate, both from the advocates and those who think it's wrong. There are good arguments from both sides and everyone should make up their own mind. I stand firmly on the pro-P2P side after reading what *both* sides have to say. Being pro-P2P doesn't mean advocating copyright infringement.