Ok, pedantic hat on here... ;)
Originally posted here by pooh sun tzu
Theft to me is wrong.
S1 of the Theft Act 1968 defines theft as "dishonestly appropriaing property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it". If you went into a store and took a copy of Windows XP without paying, that would be theft because you would be depriving the store owner of a tangiable asset. However, by taking a copy of software without paying for it you are in no way depriving the owner of the original property and therefore cannot be accused of theft.
Of course this is all UK-based law, but I'm fairly sure the situation is similar in the US. Theft is not sufficient to cover software piracy.
I can say that I have never knowingly deprived anyone of their rightful income. Sure I have "broken a few rules" and "cut a few corners" but anything that went into permanent use was paid for.
I do wonder about stuff that is no longer available?............in the software field this is sometimes called "abandonware"................no one sells it any more? no one supports it? but I guess that someone still technically owns it.
I go with Pooh on the moral front..............but I guess that I have always been able to afford morality, so I would not judge others..........it would be wrong for ME because I can afford it?
Just a thought