Suppose, for the sake of argument, that I sign a contract with Multinational Books to write a novel about vampire parakeets. They love the idea, and based on an outline, make an offer and send a contract. Fifty grand for a 400 pp book, delivery in a year. Half on sign, half on delivery.
(Long as I am being theoretical, might as well give myself good terms.)
So my office is paperless, and I don't print out the chapters every day. I do triple back-ups. One on the computer, another on a flash drive I lock up, a third off-premises on my server.
The year goes by. I'm done with the novel, got a finished draft, and am about to ship it to MB.
Say I've got a stalker, call him, say, Randolph.
Randolph hates me for whatever reason. So he gets into my house one night while I'm off babysitting the grandkids, lights my computer, and because he is a whiz at such things, bypasses my password and copies my novel file. Then he trashes my copy. Breaks open my lock box and finds my flash drive and wipes it. Gets online, and using my password manager, figures out what my password is there, goes into my email online, and wipes the copy of the novel there.
Now, granted, these are iffy things, but thieves have been breaking into locked places forever, and it's not beyond the realm of possibility.
Randolph goes on his merry way.
Aside from the breaking and entering, busting open my lock box, and like that, Randolph has stolen my novel, which is worth fifty grand. I've got half of the money, but since I don't have a book, I'm gonna have to give it back, and no way I'll be able to write it all from memory before defaulting on my deadline.
Randolph calls me up, says he'll shoot me the pirated file back, for ten thousand dollars.
Now, from where I sit, what he has done is the same as if he had broken into my house and stolen my wife's jewelry or my computer, none of which is worth as much as the novel script.
And holding the novel for ransom is another whole ball of wax.
If you believe that what Randolph has done is not a crime -- save for the B&E and lockbox, then we aren't on the same wavelength. And whatever your reasons, I ain't tuning in to your station.
Save your breath.