Same can be said about a movie which is days away from a premier. The product is already complete. Its possible to copy it, distribute it, and charge money for it. That has a huge effect on the Premier (The original product), which some here are claiming is not possible to steal.
Do you have evidence for this "huge effect"? And I mean concrete numbers, not "Temuera Morrison said so, so it must be true".
The movie industry and the recording industry have long used these arguments to claim stronger and more restrictive enforcement over copyright material, but they never provide any verifiable evidence. They also promote the terms "intellectual property" and "stealing" in order to provoke exactly these types of arguments. Edit: Both industries have had record years for income regularly over the last decade, despite all the "piracy" that's "killing their industries".
It seems to me that, if "intellectual property" was a valid concept, we would have an Intellectual Property Act governing it in New Zealand. We don't. We have copyright legislation, we have patent legislation and we have trademark legislation. These three areas of law all deal with monopoly rights over certain, very different expressions of ideas, not with property.
The conflation of them into "intellectual property" started in the 1960's with the rise of neo-liberal economic thought in which everything is for sale. These are the same economists that brought us "trickle down" and asset sales - policies that have seen the world go to the widest economic gap between rich and poor ever. If they can convert these rights into property, then they can push for perpetual ownership, which means Mickey Mouse (for example) will never enter the public domain. For a view on what that might mean, have a look at Spider Robinson's story "Melancholy Elephants" - it's okay, you're allowed; he licensed it under Creative Commons. And he saw this coming in 1983.
So if you spent three years writing a computer program, spent many thousands of dollars on development, marketing and distribution and put it on the market for say $90 with a modest payback period you would be absolutely happy if I copied it , and distributed it free to anyone that wanted it.