Perhaps you're right, Tim. Justice Blackmun called it "trespassing". I used trespassing in my example. Let's call it property trespassing. The real issue, as you point out, is "fair use". The fact is, sharing files on Napster is NOT fair use (at least, according to the US court system). I still take issue with the hordes of people who say that, because it's easy to make a copy of something, it should be legitimate to do so. That's a level of moral corruption that I simply don't understand. When you do that, you are trespassing on the rights of the holder. I agree; it's stupid for the record companies etc. to fight this in this manner. They do not understand the conversation that is the Internet, and how that could benefit them. They do, however, have one indisputable fact in their favor (as much as I hate to admit it). Sales of music have declined, and use of it has gone up. Is this all "fair use"? Somehow, I doubt it.
My son is 11. Many, many of is friends have CD collections for which they have paid NOTHING. One of the children in his school has 40-50 complete CDs which he has acquired by either downloading from the Internet or being "loaned" the music from a friend. In my mind, that's $300 (or more) that he's taken from the record companies, who are entitled to it by contract and law.
Are they being harmed? That's beside the point. They have the right to choose how their property is copied. Is this fair use? Again, I doubt that the courts would agree to that. The fact is, this 11-year-old kid sees absolutely nothing wrong with this; this is how he aquires music. And it's that attitude that is wrong.