The sense of entitlement in this thread is suffocating.
Nobody here is doing a noble thing by uploading and downloading copyrighted materials. We do it because we either want more than we can afford, or simply because it's there and easy to do. We need food and shelter. We don't need music and games and software.
Whoever thinks they are sticking it to the 1% needs to stop falling for their own lame excuses. The rich are still getting rich. 90% of piracy really just hurts people that are trying to make a living off of their artistic creations (indie bands, stand-up comedians, debut authors, etc.). That other 10% may be taking a hit financially, but they're still making millions (the Kanye Wests, U2s, James Pattersons, Jim Lees, etc.).
So, we steal. Don't try to justify your actions. We're wrong and we all know it. We'll keep doing it though. That's the world we live in. Acts like SOPA are as much our fault as they are the scheming of the super rich, wealthy corporations and the entertainment industry. If there wasn't any piracy, there wouldn't be a SOPA. All of SOPAs little "fascist" riders or "backdoor policies" wouldn't have the very real threat of piracy to hide among.
It was easy to justify piracy when it started. We were all stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Now we're also stealing from the poor. Don't kid yourself. Just because someone gets a book published or an album released doesn't mean they suddenly have money. Most people in bands work awful day jobs like they rest of us. The clear majority of authors barely get an advance these days. If they aren't a John Grisham or Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling, you can bet they either have another job or write freelance for whatever magazine will have them.
You're wrong and you don't know it. You don't sound like an author to me. Piracy spreads the work around. The ones that are famous, believe me, they're rich enough. The ones that are not have only to gain with piracy. Especially the authors. That's why a lot of them are for
Listen to this book author for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qkyt1wXNlI
A lot of my favourite bands, for example, I wouldn't know them if it wasn't for piracy. I would have not just bought their cd without listening to them first. And now I have bought some of their cd's, and I've bought concert tickets to their shows.
It's just bad for MIAA and those idiots because they'd rather fight the world instead of innovating their business model.
EDIT: Oh and just one thing... if you think that small town band you know doesn't make it big time because of piracy... reality check, they're just not that