Just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s legal.
1. Just because it’s easy to share music via Limewire, Ares, etc. doesn’t mean it’s legal to do so. Often, people who “buy” Limewire or Ares believe that they have purchased the rights to download all the free music they want. This is not so.
Opinion: Do I think the music recording industry missed the boat on electronic music? Absolutely. Do I think that their 26,000 lawsuits are winning more fans? Not on your life. However, copyright violation is copyright violation, and you can end up on the wrong end of a big civil lawsuit.
2. I am seeing more instances of people sharing electronic versions of publications with one another. I’ve even seen people offer copies for sale. In many cases this is also illegal.
3. Illegally sharing licensed software is such old news that it’s barely worth a mention, and yet many popular titles from Adobe and Symantec are pirated today at a frenetic pace.