Radiohead recently broke away from not only their record label, but from the entire recording label paradigm and decided to release their new album, In Rainbows, over the Internet for the very fair price of whatever you wanted to pay, including nothing at all.
With a price like 'free', you'd figure that piracy would be virtually eliminated. Think again:
“But for hard-core music pirates, even free hasn’t been enough of a draw. According to music industry analysts, hundreds of thousands of Web users who frequent copyright-infringing file-sharing sites, including The Pirate Bay and TorrentSpy, have chosen to download In Rainbows illegally, distributing their contraband around the Internet just as they might with any other pirated album.”
With almost 1.2 million legitimate downloads of the album versus roughly half a million in pirated copies out there, it sure makes for a convincing argument that some people simply torrent because they get some sort of thrill out of the act itself.
We're also forced to ask the question: Is it technically piracy if the source material is potentially free to begin with?