People assume piracy is some huge detriment to the entertainment industry as a whole. They picture millions of dollars being lost to those pesky pirates who chose to duplicate the product freely rather than pay for the original legitimately. They say that pirates are stealing and are taking sales away from developers. Of course, all of this ignores some pretty basic concepts.
1) Piracy is not theft. Theft is taking the original so that nobody else can use it any longer. Piracy is duplicating a product, maintaining the original, and taking a copy. Nothing is ultimately lost because nothing is actually taken except copied code. With that in mind, we're at the first level of why piracy is not lost sales.
2) People tend to assume that every pirated copy means one lost sale. What this doesn't acknowledge is that somebody who commonly pirates likely had no intention of buying the product to begin with. It isn't a lost sale if there was never intent to purchase. That's logic used to justify harsh DRM policies that people seem to think deter pirates. Having been a part of a couple of game system piracy scenes, I can safely say that a dedicated pirate will wait months for any anti-piracy efforts to be broken just so that they won't have to spend the money if they need to. In the end, all DRM really hurts is the people who legitimately purchase a game, being forced into an always online state or otherwise.
3) Piracy accounts for an exceptionally small percent of people. Such a small amount that even if every person who pirated a game purchased a physical copy instead, it would hardly impact sales. It would be hard to argue that anybody would notice the boost. Piracy is an insiginifcant part of the game and software industry that people are just really desperate to act as if it's something bigger because there is a lot of legal money in treating it that way.
In the end, piracy is blown way out of proportion and is used to justify terrible DRM policies by those that don't understand that it is completely and utterly pointless.
If I could have that on a t-shirt.... Great post tho, there are so many times when I will want to see something awful like Ride to Hell retribution on the PC just for the sake of laughing at how bad it is, if I torrent that game file am I somehow stealing 50euros that I definitely would not have spent from someone? Hardly
Not to mention those who are financially struggling and don't really have the money to buy any sort of entertainment, like to the point where they simply don't have money to spend on a dvd of frozen for their kids... would you rather that person sits there thinking about how shit their life is or that they download a torrent and escape for a while? All the while becoming a statistic of some magic money that they had in their wallets that should have went to Disney.
As for emulation of older games... I'm torn on this, I still have a huge library of my cart based games when it comes to downloading those on things like the psp I don't feel in the least bit sad about it, I think I've bought the whole 2d Sonic series about 6 times by now if not more, (The originals on the Megadrive, Sonic mega collection on the GC, Sonic Mega collection+ on the Xbox, Sonic 1-Knuckles from XBLA, Sonic Megadrive ultimate collection X360) So yeah... I don't feel that bad at all when I load up the classic Sonic games on my PSP, I'm confident I've paid enough for it over the past 20 years. I also now kinda have to emulate some games which I still own like the original pokemon's from the GB simply because the battery backup has died in my original carts so I can't play those on the original hardware.
But yeah emulating games which are available to buy or you've never had purchased the code for at a point.... I'm not sure how I feel about this, unless of course pirating a class like Super Metroid might get you into a franchise and then purchase later games, I can still see merit in this.