Originally Posted by mr ploppy
Surely if someone stole a CD from a shop there would be the same potential risk they might put it on a torrent site?
True; the laws have been incredibly slow to react to physical property being converted to digital media and resold/disseminated. And when CDs first came out, there was no digital media or internet to use for dissemination.
It would be eminently more fair to be able to identify the source of an inappropriately-disseminated digital file, and the number of times it had been disseminated/downloaded by others, so the culprit could be fined according to the actual instances of wrongdoing, as opposed to an arbitrary number conjured up in court to use as a deterrent (said fine to go to paying the creators of the content, less court costs, I suppose).