Let me just add an English echo to the chorus of voices over at Techdirt pointing out that if we were simply allowed to pay for a copy of the media we download many of us would. The particular problem we have here in England is that our social media is global and connected (about half the people I talk to on Twitter are in the US) but our broadcast media are constrained by obsolete release windows, so by the time the latest shows hit our TV and cinema screens we've already heard all the spoilers.
I don't use PirateBay because it's free (I don't care) or because it's any good (the user experience with BitTorrent is hilariously bad). I use it because the alternatives are cutting myself off from a global community that discusses media releases as soon as they come out, or putting up with spoilers. If there was just a tip jar on the websites of the relevant owners I'd happily just PayPal over a few dollars an episode to get The Simpsons, HIMYM and lots of other shows (1) at the same time as they're first seen in the states, (2) free of ads for US products I can't buy, and (3) without having to go through all the hassle of BitTorrenting them. But no-one is offering that service, for which I would happily pay, so I keep using the crappy UI on a work-around I'm not wholly comfortable with either legally or morally.
I'm expecting to have the same problem when A Game of Thrones comes out on HBO next year - a failed business model based on phased, geographic release windows means the legal version will hit my screen after all the guys in the US have already finished talking about it, and love the story though I do I'm not self-imposing a media blackout just to avoid the spoilers. So I'll download it, and in the process rob my favourite writer of the immediate commercial benefit of his work, and hey maybe later on I'll find a pretext on which to slip some money his way but really - the people who make TV can do better than making that my best option.