No there is a difference stealing is illegal. illegal downloading isn’t really illegal by law and people wont get in trouble for that. People that download the new stuff try to get it maybe cause they cant afford it but it doesn’t help. Only difference it is from stealing is that you wont need to go do to jail for this. Nobody knows who illegally uploaded the software or download it so nothing happens.
Illegal downloading is really a crime fort he creators of the thing you download. People pay millions of dollars to just invent to get paied back but you steal it. People that download free software’s are encouraging the act of illegal downloads. If people that invested a lot to make those software don’t get their money back they wont want to make anymore softwares. No1 will get any new stuff from these producers.