Most forms of legal online content ARE uniquely abusive.
They're basically ticking bombs. They have DRM that can cause them spontaneously stop working for a variety of different reasons: the DRM provider goes defunct, the file type the DRM applies to goes defunct, the company just decides to pull some of its content, or your individual account, etc, etc, etc.
In addition to that, it can stop you from making backups for yourself in case of data loss. It can stop you from using the content if you switch devices. It can do all kinds of things that prohibit people from reasonable personal use.
So basically, they expect you to pay full-price for something you're really only loaning for an unknown period of time. That is insane. And that is why a lot of people pirate. They may not realize exactly what's happening, but they do know that they didn't get what they paid for, and they paid an insane amount for the pleasure.
Mostly, this is purely for the benefit of the middlemen. They're taking home most of the cash at the end of the day. So what you're denying the artist is actually insultingly small. They're being conned as much as you are, and the middlemen keep them in that position by telling them if they go DRM-free, people will just stop buying anything at all.
And that is a big lie.
Some artists are starting to reject the fear rhetoric of their managers, and simply releasing their content without DRM on their own, or for free with the option to donate. Many find that their revenue increases dramatically.
O'Reilly drops ebook DRM, sees 104% increase in sales - Boing Boing
Louis CK: Over $1 Million In Sales In Just 12 Days For DRM-Free Download | Techdirt
People WANT to support the artists they love. They really do. And if you give them a way to do that without getting completely ripped off, they will.