about this kid that decides to break copyright law on a scale the record industry can only dream of, gets prosecuted, and decides that death is better* than indentured servitude as he would have to pay off a huge fine and/or jail for the rest of his life, and deciding to do so even before actually appealing to a judge for leniency which is often granted in copyright cases.
really. i don't care. he wasn't a hero, he was a thief who got caught.
Is there a problem in that publishers often don't redistribute royalties to the authors? of course there is. in some cases it is contractual (the author accepts the initial advance in lieu of fighting for accounting which often doesn't amount to much). in other cases, yes, the publishers are being jerks through bad accounting practices. this latter case happens in ALL the creative industries, from records that never recoup in spite of selling hundreds of thousands, to Lord of the Rings never making a profit on 1 billion in ticket sales collectively.
but if one is going to practice civil disobedience to raise awareness for an issue, one should accept the consequences of that. Any 'academic' should know that, from Emerson, to Thoreau, MLK Jr, and even Jesus, all of whom accepted the jail time that came with the disobedience they practiced.
This kid didn't. he cut an ran. he wasn't a hero, he was a coward.
and I have no sympathy at all.
* I'm aware that he suffered from depression, as is the case in most suicides, and that the prosecutors involved ignored that and refused to come to some arrangement, but all things being equal, the law is the law. He simply shouldn't have done that if he wasn't able to deal with the inevitable consequences of prosecution.