Originally Posted by B Nietsnie
Yes, if you don't legally own whatever you are downloading.
You sir, are incorrect. The distinction is fine, but there. BitTorrent is not illegal; you cannot be criminally prosecuted (at least in Canada) for downloading songs which you do not own the rights to off of it. However, if a music company decided to sue you, you would have almost no footing on which to fight them.
So, it's not illegal, but rather, not something you have a sound legal footing on which to do - this applies to moveis and software too. although, with software it's a little different - sign the EULA, and you are then breaking it, which can be prosecuted criminally.
If a music/movie company wants to sue me to recover the ~$300 or so worth of stuff i've gotten from them, they're welcome to it.