If you have illegally copied computer software from someone and are now reading this, take a moment to reflect on what you've done. Many computer software applications are huge projects, consuming many man-years of effort, huge amounts of money, and a lot of grief on the part of the developers. For example, the Byte Works' ORCA languages and development environment (as of November 1997) consists of over 220,000 lines of source code, not including the libraries, tool interface files, test programs, samples, or the 5 800k disks of source in the courses for each language. This work represents approximately 17 man-years of development, support, marketing, and management.
Is it right that you're now benefiting from developers' efforts without any just compensation to the authors?
Many programmers are born, bred, and raised in the spirit of computing. They love to write software, and probably always will. But if they cannot make enough money to make it worthwhile to continue their work, then they won't; because by worthwhile, we mean not only food on the table, but resources for expansion and continued growth. In short, support them and they'll support you.
Computer software is very inexpensive when you consider what it allows you to do.
To all you who properly pay for the software you use: Thank you.