Yes, in most countries, file-sharing is a civil dispute, with the exception of a few (countries like Spain for example, where its absoltely fine and considered fair use, provided it is non-profit). Of course, all that means is the fines go to groups like the RIA, or MPA, or IFPI, who really do not
deserve a penny, instead of the government... so if anything, its even worse. Especially with fines like this
And I agree with Xercies - you cannot download abandonware, or upload a Youtube video with someone else's music in it, or even rip a cd onto your pc (in the UK), and then say piracy is evil. Because that just makes you a hypocrite.