I've run my own studio for 15 years and I've seen the devastation that piracy has wrought on musicians, studios, labels and anyone associated with music being created for people to consume.
I came up with this list; it's not copyrighted, so take or use it for whatever you wish
Canard: You never lost revenue from a sale that never existed.
Reality: Unless you can say that you never would have bought every song you illegally downloaded, you're just rationalizing. There are plenty of ways to audition music on the web. You don't need to illegally download an entire record to your ipod from rapidshare to decide if you like it or not.
Canard: I'm only taking digital bits. 0s and 1s.
Reality: When someone shoplifted a record, were they only stealing plastic?
Canard: It's not theft, because when I take it, you still have it.
Reality: When some one counterfeits money, you still have your money, but it isn't worth as much. They've stolen the value of your currency.
Canard: Going after illegal downloading is whack a mole.
Reality: All law enforcement is whack a mole.
Canard: If bands made better music we would buy more.
Reality: If the music is so bad, why are you downloading it?
Canard: The majority buy the stuff after downloading it.
Reality: No, they don't. Music sales have been in a steep steady decline since Napster was first introduced.
Canard: Bands make most of their money on touring and merch.
Reality: And that's not much anymore. And it's because people take their music without paying for it. Bands used to make money selling records. Now many can't afford to tour or even make records anymore.
Canard: Record labels need to figure out a new business model.
Reality: Record labels have been trying for the past 10 years to figure out a solution. But there is no business model that can be based around theft.
Canard: Art is not business.
Reality: Nothing is free. Everything takes time and/or money to make.
Canard: We're dreaming of the major record companies going bankrupt.
Reality: And then what? You'll stop taking music illegally? No, then you'll take it from indie labels. And then just the bands themselves.
Canard: What about all those poor buggy whip factories that went out of business when the automobile came along?
Reality: Music making hasn't been replaced. It's still for sale. It's just that you can illegally take it without fear of being caught. The analogy makes zero sense.
Canard: The war on illegal downloading is like Prohibition or the drug war.
Reality: The analogy makes zero sense. Those were items that were illegal to sell. It's not illegal to sell music.
Most importantly, hopefully you understand that illegal theft hurts the musicians and those, like me, that try to make good music for you to enjoy.