Originally Posted by Elfwreck
I believe the downloader is (often) also committing copyright infringement. The issue is, he's creating *one* copy
No, the uploader is creating the copy and distributing it. Downloaders are not direct infringers. At best, what you could try and argue is that a downloader committed contributory copyright infringement. IE, that the downloader intentionally caused the uploader to commit infringement (including that the downloader knew it would be infringing, and that their actions were the reason the direct infringer committed infringement). However, you have to show intent, which is always a tricky road to go down. I don't think anyone has even attempted it in court, let alone actually won. Contributory infringement has mostly been used for physical IP. This is the type of thing that the MPAA used when they tried to go after Sony (the "Betamax case").
Merely receiving copyrighted material is not illegal, even if it was unauthorized. If it were, then everybody
on the internet would be guilty.