Does everyone cherish self more than others? Almost certainly.
This topic only concerns me when it comes to copying PDFs of Dharma books, which I have often done. This thread has given me much to consider... and I think I may have my answer.
Sometimes, I may copy a book/video because I feel the teachings are exotic or enticing and I want to explore their secrets outside of the context of my own tradition and the instructions I'm qualified to practice. In large part, I'm now forced to confess that this is wrong. It doesn't arise from the wisdom that enables me to practice what I've been given.
However, other books that I feel hesitant to buy because of my economic circumstances (which, I admit, is also an afflictive emotion) relate more directly to my practice, particularly Mind-Training texts such as Wheel of Sharp Weapons.
If I acknowledge that my mind is afflicted, and I seek the teachings through unconventional channels out of a desire to sidestep my money worries and habituate my mind to better ways of thinking, what have I done? Perhaps not the purest action, which would see me seeking nothing but my teacher's words, and dropping all else -- but am I at that stage yet? I think not, and I think trying to force myself into a state of absolute purity may not free me from the root of the problem itself.
At this time I believe the answer, for me, is to make an honest determination about whether or not the text is valuable to me from a practice perspective, as opposed to a curiosity (or hunting for secret teachings).
Only when I'm completely at peace with my decision, regardless of what karma it creates, can I be sure of creating good karma. That is, I have to trust myself to notice an ethical problem and work it through, rather than stopping my enquiry based on others' answers. I can be the only one who determines the thoroughness of my analysis, because, if there is some greater path to be had, it's presently beyond me.
"For as long as space remains,
For as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world."