> In the modern world, where everyone is the media, they are completely impractical.
That's not a very good argument.
There's a lot of people in the world, so stopping them doing anything could be considered 'impractical' but that doesn't mean that that is the correct course of action.
People need to understand and accept their responsibilities when acting as 'broadcasters'. Just because it is easy for someone to broadcast to millions doesn't mean that they should not bound by the same rules and conventions - see the current problems in the UK where people have used Twitter to name rape victims (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17822719).
Before the internet, it was incredibly hard to communicate around the world. Many researchers would have been isolated, with no way to "hook up" with others that have similar interests
Not entirely true, there were printed media in which researchers would discuss their work. They could even ring one another if they wanted to.
The Internet has made it much easier for people to contact one another in a manner that cannot be regulated and is largely 'unseen'. It differs from 'traditional media' in that don't even need to know who you are talking to or even how to contact them.
Not necessarily true. I buy something from a reputable shop and part of that money goes into the economy through taxes, rent, wages, buying the product, etc.
If I buy something from the man-on-the-corner, he takes all that money and none of it needs to be seen within the wider economy - he might buy a Rolls Royce and so allow someone else to pay taxes, etc. or he might just ship the money abroad. Either way, I suspect that he doesn't see a social responsibility in sharing his wealth.
If the counterfeit goods are sold in reputable shops then, again, some of that money does make it into the economy through the taxes, etc. but the majority for the product will just disappear.