From Daring Fireball:
This is why it’s a mistake, a huge mistake, to call copyright infringement and bootlegging “piracy”.
Software pirates have long played up to the skull-and-crossbones image. I remember way back in the ’80s, there were groups with the word “Pirate” in their names (on the Atari ST, for instance, the Pompey Pirates). They were proud to be called “pirates”.
The whole phenomenon of people pretending to be offended at the use of words like “pirate” or “theft” in relation to copyright infringement is a recent development, and quite frankly it’s ridiculous. Nobody is actually offended by these terms; it’s just that one or two pro-piracy people have realised that “copyright infringement” sounds like the kind of law-breaking that nice people might engage in, whereas “piracy” and “theft” don’t.
The same people also realise that they have to make sure that a substantial proportion of the population is engaged in copyright theft, otherwise it might be practical to start prosecuting people for it. Currently you can only really do that for show, and you’ll never recover your costs.