Mary, people aren’t going to stop trafficking drugs and child prostitutes, either. They aren’t going to stop shooting each other, beating their kids, or mugging pizza delivery boys. Do you think by saying this, I am proposing that this behavior is okay and we should legalize it all?
The question isn’t about whether pirates are breaking the law or not, but about how we deal with them. Pirating eBooks is a relatively harmless crime. We authors aren’t hurt much by it, for the reasons I listed in my first comment. There are a lot of things that are technically illegal but rarely worth prosecuting: driving in certain states without a front license plate; buying a souvenir on a trip abroad and omitting it from your federal tax forms; letting your dog run around the park without a leash. Kicking a fuss about it and demanding millions in damages for these things, as too many IP lawyers love to do to kids who download a couple of songs, would just be petty, and fueled more by greed than justice.
The problem with DRM, as I said before, is that it doesn’t deter theft, but it hurts legitimate buyers. I believe that if someone buys my book, it is then theirs to do whatever the heck they want with it, as long as they don’t try to make money by reproducing it. They can alter it, destroy it, lend it out, whatever. Applying DRM is like selling cars with a lock on the steering wheel, with the reasoning that it’s necessary to stop the few buyers who might drive drunk.