I can think of a sub-culture where sneakernetting copies of tapes was very common, with tapes traveling from city to city with different travelers, slowing being spread to different areas.
A lot of the anime subculture was like this 5 years ago. VHS tapes were copied or made from other VHS tapes, there were the occasionally fan subs/dubs, a lot of rare stuff never released in the US, etc. People would trade copies for copies, creating entire collections, etc. Since VHS tapes used to be insanely high for a mere 1 or 2 episode tape, and many series easily had 20+ episoded, copying was the only way many people would have seen certain series.
There is still a bit of this culture around, especially with some of the rarer fansubs, which might technically break the law, but are a work of love ne'er-the-less. (There is also the related manga-scans/translations, the best example of which I can think is the Ranmascan project).
Some things are technically illegal, but really don't hurt anyone. Fan translations of certain games fall into this catagory (for example, Tenchi Muyo Super Famicom/Super NES game's english-translation patch). Other things might be illegal, but have a net good. I believe that if it wasn't for some of the abandonware sites and the emulation community, old computer and arcade games would be lost to us. I'm sorry, but I don't believe that the original purpose of copywrite law was to encourage works of art to be lost forever (and yes, games can be considered an artform).
I do have a nice mp3 collection right now, a lot of which came from borrowing CD's from people, as well as rarer amature works, fan-art, bootlegs, and non-American work that is, quite frankly, almost impossible to find in the US. There is more to music then what you can find at your local Walmart or Best Buy. Filesharing can help you learn that.
On the other hand, the whole "X is overpriced" argument is very valid. When people decide that a few hours of their time is worthwhile to find a certain X, even if the quality is unknown, instead of going down to the store and spending money to get X with a known level of quality, I would suggest the X may be a tad overpriced (or that corporate translations really, really do suck). Hell, I've probably spent a good 30 hours in my current search for a specific anime, and I still haven't found it.
Oh well, my $.02
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