I think you are underplaying the convenience part. I think itunes/kindle/spotify/appstores.. are successful mainly because of their ease of use, their 'coolness' factor and their integration into other products. I think morality plays a much smaller part in why people use them.
And as I've been saying throughout this discussion, I firmly believe that if there were more cool/easy legal alternatives to existing illegal ways of sharing, you'd slowly start to get more and more people moving towards paying for their content. Dont think you can change the world in 1 go by some magical superweapon called SOPA. Im sorry Drew if I dont really trust industry studies, they have not always panned out to be the most reliable.
I also believe the industry itself is partly blocking this progress by their existing payment structure. As I showed in the above URL, in the music world you are still paying for breakage of vinyl in distribution!! The sole reason this is happening, is because the industry is desperate to keep their gross income and profit margins high enough to please wallstreet. But this cant endlessly continue. As distribution and production costs drop, you cant keep prices at the level of a system based on a completely different cost structure. People can see the cost structure, and are getting more and more upset by the perceived unfairness of it all. Drew himself mentioned the ebook case, where sometimes ebooks are more expensive than printed books. The average joe just doesnt get that. It feeds the system of not caring about the evil content industry.
Some people may think im for sharing (and probably, if you follow some lines of thoughts, for the terrorists), but this is not the case. I work for (and founded) a pretty well known ISP, that also happens to be really active in the political/social scene. In our daily work we see almost all sides of this story pass by. We deal with content owners, uploaders, downloaders, law enforcement, sharing sites, virusses (that are often used in sharing illegal data), etc etc. You name it, we probably deal with it daily. Because of this, you realize that both sides (and here I agree with Drew) have taken positions that are extreme. The content industry wants to keep the status quo and maintain their archaic income/cost structure in spite of the modern world changing almost monthly, the sharers want some kind of get-out-of-jail free card for getting everything for free.
We are trying to find a middle grounds and are trying to tell both sides they are being unrealistic. You cant distribute content illegally, and you cant have a nuclear weapon to destroy parts of the internet at your leisure because you dont like it. The solution lies in the middle, but both sides seem to want their cake and eat it. Lets be clear here, it's not the MPAA/RIAA/content industry that created current working solutions. It's businesses that saw a case for making products in the middle of this conflict, often being totally frustrated by the same MPAA/RIAA . These services fought their own war with the content industry because they threatened to upset their status quo.
I am not a big fan of MPAA/RIAA because of what I see them do almost daily. And for me SOPA was the proverbial case that broke the camels back.
Cor, we both are in agreement but just coming from the other side. I certainly don't support SOPA/PIPA in its present form. Neither side are angels calling out the devil in the opposition. However, you and I both are directly affected and perhaps biased by that. Neither of us can deny the internet has made it a global problem that can't be handled locally.
Obviously there is some middle ground but I think we'll never get there unless we go back to charging for bandwidth. It's obvious if a user is connecting via torrents, the traffic is going to be pretty hardcore vs someone just downloading from iTunes/Amazon/Netflix. The UK ISPs are now hitting those who don't download from legal sources will get hit with bandwidth penalties. It's not practical though. To scale that methodology planetwide requires global cooperation. And we can't even agree on what copyrights are.
I think content producers don't see much money in providing online content so long as there is piracy. You can't beat 0 dollars! Another factor is that those who are paying won't be inclined to download pirated works anyhow. So again, the freebie peeps are just keep getting product by breaking copyrights and there is no real way stop it without serious laws to protect them.
Here's a little breakdown of how much an artist gets from various forms of distribution:
Mind you this isn't the atypical contract but an example of revenue distribution. As you can see, the labels get the largest cut of services like itunes. That's why certain artists have gone to releasing their own stuff online or heavily renegotiate their contracts. Income from album sales has shrunk due to piracy and the internet. Musicians now have to seek other forms of income including merchandizing (yet another pirated commodity), live performances (which for certain musicians are limited) etc.
Movies/TV shows are even more complicated. TV stations need to sell ads (unless it's state supported). The EU doesn't get US TV shows immediately because the local EU stations need to do several things, including dubbing dialog/subtitles etc. There's also the issue of the marketability of a show like Homeland in say NL. NL TV can pretty buy all TV shows for broadcast immediately, but they have to pay for it. And those programs have to bring in revenue. There are only so many hours and so many channels, so not all the popular shows will make it onscreen. Same for movies. The blockbusters tend to be released closely worldwide, but lesser known films have that delay because again there are only so many cinemas and only so many nights for the audience to watch it. Box office receipts are where the major portion of money comes from. DVD sales use to be a healthy supplement and occasionally even surpasses the theatrical release receipts. Piracy has ended that run.
The type of money coming from online isn't great. The DVD/BD sales is multi-billion dollar industry, but digital (depending on which research firm you ask), hasn't even hit a billion. However, physcial DVD/BD is declining and streaming/download is growing. There is one bold estimate that 2015 will see online overtake physical, but I seriously doubt that. Then of course there's the declining cinema tix sales in the last 2 years, but that could be due to the economy too.
And online pricing doesn't mean costs go down significantly. Kindle fixes a price for a book @ $12.99 digital (usually the savings of distribution, printing etc). The hard copy comes out $29.99 because some people still want hard copies, but after 18 mths, it's taking up space in the warehouse, so it's sold @ $5.99. There is no real need to sell the digital copy for less because there's no shelf space it's occupying or any paper rotting away. Furthermore, we are forced to buy ebook readers, where the savings benefit avid readers but not the occasional reader. Still the move to digital media seems unstoppable since Amazon now sells more ebooks than actual books.
PS: I know you aren't a terrorist(WTF??) or sharer.