Look, if you copy something from the net and make it available to others, you are very likely to get away with it. And even if you get sued, you might not have to pay damages even if you lose. But that doesn't make it legal, let alone ethical.
I completely agree with all of that and it sort makes my point about the absurdity of the law, though I realise that is arguable too.
What's so hard respecting the wishes of the author, and be conservative if you don't know the wishes?
This is where things get a little fuzzy for me. In the case of the original post it was stated that the information was still available, but had simply fallen into neglect and the Original Poster was concerned that the information might cease to be available by virtue of that neglect rather than having be deliberately withdrawn. I'm not sure if this makes a difference. If the originator of the information had (for example) died, doesn't the copyright die with him?
I certainly would like for people to respect my wishes and to not republish something I have withdrawn.
I completely agree with this. Information deliberately withdrawn by the author should be allowed to die a natural death. It's this very point that I have against the "do not change history" viewpoint that is prevelent hereabouts.
Cor! Like yer ring! ... HALO dammit! ... 'Ave it yer way! Hal-lo, Mister la-de-da. ... Like yer ring!