Speeding does not ruin lives. The sudden stop that occurs because an individual doesn't know how to drive does. (Following too close is IMNSHO a "crime" 10,000 times worse than speeding.)
There are reasonable arguments that a speed limit allows other drivers as well as pedestrians an idea of how fast cars on a particular stretch of road are travelling, thus giving a feeling of when it is safe to turn/cross etc. I accept these are a good reason for speed limits, and perhaps they are all the argument that is required that speeding should be considered a serious offence.
That said, especially on non-built up areas, or on deserted multi-lane roads in the middle of the night, you’d have to do a fair amount of arguing to convince me that was a real correlation between going 80K instead of 70K would “ruin lives.”
To the extent that “speed” usually has to be combined with additional factors, (following-to-close, driving-while-distracted, alcohol, etc.) I believe it’s the perfect analogy for copyright infringement.
Copyright infringement for personal use, (the equivalent of going 10K over the limit when on a deserted hiway,) is “wrong,” in that it is not absolutely following the rules. A slap on the wrist to remind you that the rules should indeed apply at all times, (even on deserted hiways,) and off you go. Copyright infringement for personal use causes no harm to the copyright holder. You should be “dinged” on principal, because the same rules should apply to everyone, but there was no demonstrable harm.
Copyright infringement for the purpose of commercial gain is a whole other kettle of fish. I liken it to “speeding while drinking a coffee, chatting on your cell phone and riding 2cm off the bumper of the car in front of you.” If you don’t cause harm to someone it’s only due to good luck. Copyright infringement for the purpose of commercial gain is very clearly causing financial harm to the copyright holder.
I admit that the equation here is “financial harm is equivalent to causing physical harm to a human being or their property” but, well…that seems to be what the law is all about. (Otherwise murder/rape/maiming/etc. would not carry similar sentences to “white collar crimes.”)
The above is only my opinion, I respect that others may feel differently.