Have any noteworthy philosophers written about the ethics/morality of file-sharing (bittorrent and what-not)? If so, what are some of their positions?
Ayn Rand was in favour of copyrights and patents
Some of her admirers, such as Adam Mossoff have argued for her position and said that inetellectual property is not protected well enough on the net:
The basic idea is that an idea is the product of its creator's mind, just as a physical item is a product of its maker's work. Just as the latter should be protected from having the product of his work expropriated so should the former.
Some other commentators disagree with Rand, see
I will list some of the problems. First, the fact that I download a copy of an intellectual product does not deprive the maker of the use of his copies. Second, a person can independently create the same idea and if he does so why should he not be ale to use it? Third, there is no hard and fast line between ripping off intellectual property and producing an original contribution. The attempt to solve this problem through fair use doesn't work very well. There are many examples of a person posting a reply to a video on YouTube only to have it taken down with the excuse of copyright violation because the person who posted the original video doesn't appreciate criticism.