In the US, warez is not considered "theft" but copyright infringement. (Ref: Dowling v. United States)
The above statement is incorrect and shows why this isuue is constantly being unsuccessfully challenged in court. The United States No Electronic Theft Act (NET Act) of 1997 is a federal law which provides for criminal prosecurtion of individuals who engage in copyright infringement as an act of theft, even where there is no monetary profit or commercial benefit from the infringement. Maximum penalties can be five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, in addition to an increase in statutory damages of 50%.
Before relying upon a 24 year old court case for the interpretation of current legal application of law, be careful to check for any relevant changes in law since the original decision.
See also: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/02/connecticut-cou/
Three years ago, when a 62-year-old Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty to similar charges in Connecticut federal court, then-U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O’Connor said, "Stealing the intellectual property of others is no different from any other form of thievery."