I was 15 when I built my first computer(an at clone, pirated?) and started my first forays into bbs's and such. I've been chimera15 for like 22 years. lol Not going to change a good user name. It's really got nothing to do with age though. Why do people always assume that? It's mainly easy to use cause no one has it on most message boards, even the really big ones. There usually is a chimera, 1, 2, 3, already. Hate using hours coming up with a new name when the one you want is taken, so I just use this one.
I suppose my views on piracy/software have a lot to do on how I was raised. Back in the 80's and even 70's my father had access to pirated, or really what has come to be known as pirated, but really shared stuff through his work, so I never knew any different. I always lived by the philosophy that software should be free. When I was about 10 in middle school, a friend of mine got a computer, and I offered him some software, and was shocked by his attitude that he would actually want to pay for it. Back in those days that was a pretty rare attitude. Most of my friends were all into sharing, pirating, and even cracking software. Pretty much lost a friend over it even. lol
Don't get me wrong, I've bought tons of software over the years. I used to buy games too. I've got like 5 huge cd folders full of legal cd's of games, and apps. 100's even 1000's of titles. I just don't see much point to it anymore. Especially not given how it depreciates. The reality is software really isn't worth anything, or it wouldn't be worthless the minute you buy it. It represents thousands of dollars of my debt that I'm not able to recoup if I have to go bankrupt, as I would with tools, materials, or hardware. It's really the one thing that has no value in actuality.
It's actually a really good idea to tie software to hardware. You saw that with halo, and halo versions of xbox's. And fallout has merchandise too. It's a much better business model. There are workable business models where software and media is free. It's like Mel Brooks said, "Merchandising! It's where the real money is made." Or something to that effect.
I also consider myself a Utopian. I believe ultimately everything will be free, and there will be enough for everyone to have whatever they want. If they need something, they can make it themselves, easily. Computers have the ability to make that come true. Software and media is just the first step. You look at ebay, and you see it happening with hardware and other things well. Most things are coming out of China, a forced utopian communist society for pennies.
Is paying 5 cents for something coming out of china stealing when it costs $10 for the exact same thing in America? I suppose the difference is if it's patented or not? Even if it's not patented. I'm supposed to pay $9.99 cents for something when it's real cost is 5 cents, because someone in the location on the planet that I am bounded by an imaginary line says they thought of it first, or because the cost of labor is greater here? Just doesn't seem right to me.
I built my 1366 system mostly with es/made parts out of China, or used/refurb parts and it cost me a fraction of what the same parts would have cost me if I bought it in a store here in America. Is that theft, piracy, communism, utopianism, or is that being a good capitalist?
I suppose it comes down to lines we all draw. Some people draw their lines at writing virus's and showing people that software is meaningless and worthless, and justify their ethics in that. Others draw their lines, at having to pay for everything, and that software writers should be paid. I think I actually fall somewhere in the middle, and am comfortable with that.