I'm not going to say that this is the end all be all reasoning pirates use, but for me it rings true.
If you download a title for your PC, it doesn't exist in tangible form. If you download a game for your PSP, Xbox 360, DS, or anything, it doesn't exist in tangible form. You're not going down to GameStop and stuffing the game in your pants and running out the door with it. There is no REAL
risk, because it doesn't really exist. You're not going down to some warehouse in the bad part of town and handing just a few dollars for a copy of something that's $60. You're not worried about the cops catching you like you would in person, because the cops don't really exist for people on the internet.
And really, do they? There is so much traffic on the internet, what are the chances of actually being caught by the actual police when you download something? Plus, are you actually in trouble if you're downloading it, or only in trouble if you share it with other people? How many people actually know the laws governing this shit?
In general, people learn by making mistakes. People get caught or hurt or SOMETHING that makes them stop doing the bad or stupid thing they did. Someone can bitch about piracy all they want: It will never stop someone from doing piracy or even give two shits about piracy until it is perceived as something that can actually hurt them. As much as I hate to say it, even though the RIAA was doing a bunch of bullshit when they were charging people left and right: a fuckton of people stopped pirating music. I personally know at least 75% of my friends stopped downloading because now there was a real honest to goodness consequence.
Admittedly, sales didn't really go up at all due to this because they were pirating stuff because they didn't have the money to buy it in the first place, but it stopped them from doing it because they were scared of getting caught.
And really people, I can tell you one of the reasons piracy started in the first place. It's flat out because we couldn't return software. I pirated stuff, and yes I actually fucking paid for it if it was good, because it was a time when Demos didn't really exist. There were just boxes on a shelf. Good luck and all that; hope it was what you needed, because they wouldn't take it back. You still can't trade PC games except through services like Goozex (of which I've found no others, but admittedly haven't looked hard).
What really sucks about piracy is that there are too many "reasons" for people to do it now, and not enough of a reason not to. If someone can finally flip that around, I'm sure everything will be hunky dory. Good fucking luck on that, though. As long as people keep making stuff like this:
I think anti-piracy people are well and truly screwed out of convincing people that this shit is wrong. I don't want to say STFU about it because it seems trite, but unless you can turn it around, STFU about it because all you do is make people that pirate give themselves MORE reasons to pirate. Arguments do that. They make people fortify their defenses against things that aren't what they want to hear. You're not helping.