Great Article I have to say. I too could be guilty of such piracy, being new to computing in 2001 I have explored and tried so much software using an array of File share programs (including Kazzaa) only to discover new personal talents and mediums for creativity.
Naturally an artist, graphically, musically and otherwise I have tested, pocked, and explored just about every piece of code ever written. All these while on studying and with no money available to even replace my failed bulging hard drive!
Now that I am employed I can buy those pieces of code or applications that I have found to be of benefit to me and are more than just a mere gimmick. I found some are better than others despite popularisms and cultural iconism. I mostly create music and love a vast array of music, genre's and styles.
Of those I found value in I simply purchased as funds became available. I now own every piece of software and music I have (Ever heard of Dino Zaluzzi?) and the inventive, progressive and beautiful locally made FL Studio, which I have watched turn from a drum sequencer to a full-blown music creation suite. Cheaper than most but intuitive and graphically pleasant to work with I found it perfect for what I needed. I would never have found it without file sharing and I would never have found the difference either! I could have paid more for allot less! I soon hope to produce my own MP3ís for downloading using a site I created and graphics I made. None of this would have happened without File sharing and I can only hope to use file sharing as a means of greater market impregnation. I canít loose really especially if the big 4 record producers never hear of me, it makes no difference now if they exist or not, I expect that the market will soon grow beyond them without them as they will be too busy fighting reality than taking notice of popular trends!