let's try and give an answer to your problem:
Firstly, let's try and define what a copyright is, I'll help myself with a dictionary definition:
(Law) the exclusive right to produce copies and to control an original literary, musical, or artistic work, granted by law for a specified number of years (in Britain, usually 70 years from the death of the author, composer, etc, or from the date of publication if later).
Therefore, we can say, that breaking the copyrights placed on any piece of data means copying any kind of somebody else's work without their consent. The most common type of violation of copyrights is Internet piracy of music, book, films and shows. Depending on a country, prosecution of piracy charges can include:
1. High fines (counted per copied music track for example) - in the US it can reach the maximum of 150 000$ per instance.
2. Prison time - again, in the US, if you're comitting copyright infrigement, you should know that you can end up in prison for up to 5 years.
On the other hand, we need to also acknowledge the fact, that piracy, however wrong and against law, is by many people considered as good for the industry. Sharing files - music, games, movies makes them known better. Many of the people will buy things, they had originally downloaded as well. Of course, the industry will never admit it but I am prone to believe that it does profit from file sharing.
What is important in this argument is the undeniable fact that file sharing changed everything, anybody can have and do whatever they want with data, which is, in my humble opinion, the reason why technology thrives nowadays.