Nick Bradury rants on piracy
I don't like software pirates, either, as, generally, they hurt the little guys more than they hurt the big guys. Nick Bradbury, as a software developer, has a good commentary about how it's the little guys who are getting hurt, and he provides telling examples and stats.
While I agree that people like Nick should never get screwed by pirates, I do have one thought on this: The thing is about piracy stats is that they, generally, assume that the person would pay for the software otherwise. If they had the money, would they pay for your software? No, they probably wouldn't. For most of these guys, it's just the thrill of having pirated software that drives them. If that software is cut off from them, most of the leechers out there will just find another chunk of software to use that they can get for free.
What it comes down to it that pirates are cheapskates, and they're not going to pay for anything, period. And these stats, while very telling, assume that the pirates would pay for the software if they could. So while software companies make claims of losing tons of money, would they be making it otherwise? These pirates wouldn't pay for it, even if they could. Yes, there are folks who are selling pirated software, and those people are wrong, and certainly if you use the software, you should pay the full value for it, but the stats need to quit assuming that the person who pirates would actually pay -- there's no money lost unless that person makes a legitimate person use it without paying.
Just my two cents. Nick's software is great, and I've paid for my copy of FeedDemon (and use TopStyle lite, as it came with HomeSite, another great product that Nick created that Macromedia now owns). Little guys shouldn't get screwed, and software should be paid for, one way or another.