If "Whether he would have purchased them if free were not an option is impossible to determine" is true as you say, then how can you state with certainty that "The downloader's actions deprived them of potential profits"?
And amazingly, I've never heard anyone lament the lack of songs being written by Mr. Rick Carnes. It's almost as if no actually gives a shit. Except Mr. Carnes, or course.
He can stop writing all he wants. Other artists can stop. Who the hell cares if they do? Other (smart) artists will take up the slack, and then some. Despite "piracy" more music and movies are being created that at any other time in history. And it's only going to get better.
You can play "what if" games all day. But the facts are that she was not deaf or in a wheelchair. Therefore, while the city may have been negligent, common sense tells you that the girl shoulders the majority of the blame.
You know if the ISPs keep fighting like this, pretty soon these collection organizations are going to try and get into the ISP business themselves, starting their own under a shell company or just outright purchasing them. Imagaine if all the ISPs in the globe were run by the RIAA and it's equivalents.
*IF* that was their intent (and we all know it wasn't), that actually makes the situation worse because they are intentionally abusing the intent of desist letters. If they just wanted to make it clear they don't support it, then they should have done a press release. Now it becomes abuse.
If it'd happened to me I'd have the common sense to know intrinsically that it wasn't the fault of McDonald's, but the employee. I'd probably sue McDonald's though, because they have money and our corrupt justice system will likely allow me to take it.
Face it, this a 100% money grab by this couple. No one should be denying that.
"If you just type 'pirate bay' into any search engine, the real site comes up."
Funny how this works. The Pirate Bay is an index of torrents. Google indexes the indices of torrents. So really Google indexes torrents, too. If it's logical to say that TPB is guilty of CI, then any site who links to them should be guilty too, no?