sorry, this will be a bit off topic...
I've been pirated software free for the last 3-4 years, even through the redicule of my peers.
Recently I gave a talk on software piracy in one of my classes (Tech Writing) and found out some interesting things:
1) College students feel that they don't have to pay for software, even 'tho a student price is available. Somewhat (not much) understandable since college students are, by definition, poor. I know. I am one I think that around that time 3D Studio Max was one of the most pirated programs -- everyone had a copy, 1% actually needed/used it for actual work. Most people had it just to have it. (Incidently, Kinetix does not have student pricing) The other oft' pirated program was StarCraft -- which everyone used! I say, if you use a program and you get enjoyment out of it, doesn't the development team deserve your money?
2) "Why should I spend $xxx on yyy since it is buggy?" -- I love that one. If you complain that it is buggy, don't use it!! I don't believe that there is any useful program of any complexity out there that has zero bugs. It is just an excuse.
3) "I'm just one person, what I do is irrelevant" and "Is it really worth $xxxx?" where other common excuses. Certainly 1,000,000 people who think their actions are irrelevant are going to cause a serious impact.
4) "It's not like stealing" It is. The only difference from shoplifting a copy of Quake from EB and burning your own copy, is that the latter can be done from the compfort of your home!
5) Companies have to invest time and resorces (read $$$) to find new anti-piracy techniques. The goal is no longer "We have to stop piracy" but it has become one of "We have to twart pirates long enough for the next version to come out." Think about it, if a company spends thousands (or millions) of dollars researching anti-pirate schemes, that is precious money that could have been used in other areas ie. hire more devs, better artists, better equiptment, etc.
Lastly any person that fancies himself a developer or some kind of software professional (yeah, not just the programmers) cannot pirate software! It's akin to cannibalism! What kind of professional ethic does that person subscribe to? It's like stealing from your family.
Anyway, that's my rant/rave/comment on the software piracy issue.
[This message has been edited by OberonZ (edited November 05, 1999).]
I totally agree with Mason.