Prove it that it's a net gain. That's a GIANT assumption to make, and then base an argument on, with no proof.
The transfer of wealth is not the only metric of good in the
world. Do you think there is a good effect on society by creative digital media
(movies, books, games, music) and it disappears as soon as wealth is not
transferred? Or do you think the people who receive the good effect in this way
don't deserve it, so it doesn't count? I think the latter view is just short-
sighted. The proliferation of creative media, like the proliferation of all
communication that has occurred with the creation of the internet, only leads to a
more connected, educated, and progressive society.
The effect of the good matters. We don't praise crack dealers for being successful
at selling crack, because their product hurts their customers. On the other hand,
someone who writes a thoughtful book whose work enriches the minds of its readers,
you hope for their success to keep doing the good. If that person could have been
20 percent more successful over their already wild success if piracy were thwarted,
but 40 percent more read it (some wouldn't have bought it) because of piracy, you
can wonder if the 20 percent more people's minds enriched is worth more than that
individual being 20 percent richer. Do you disagree with that hypothetical case?
If you make the argument, like Seanw3 and Kantok apparently , that creative media has an at best
neutral effect on their customers (mere "enjoyment", where enjoyment in this sense is taken
to be socially worthless), then what good is it anyway? Why care if those creators
make any profit at all? If I am not addicted to their socially worthless good, why
should I support its perpetuation?
If creative media has social value, then you must weight that social good in the equation. Then there is muddy waters, because the financial reward to creators to continue to create has diminishing returns, and the social value of the good does not diminish as it is transferred. There will be cases were copyright infringement was a good thing.