Giving a reason or not doesn't change theft. If a man has a starving child at home and robs a convenience store hes still going to jail. If stardock is smart they IP trace the admitted pirate and report him to his ISP. By law his internet provider will have to shut him off if they get more then 1 complaint. So then he will be perma banned from that provider and have to find a new one. IF there is another one for him in his area. Matter of fact wonder if I can trace his IP...
Not to be splitting hairs, but
1) "Stealing software" is not the same as stealing bread or money. Software is a bunch of digital data that can be copied in infinite numbers wihtout any loss in quality. As that, you can't "Steal" it, unless you delete the source after you make your copy. With that said, you can still use it illegally, but thats a completely different article in the law, called copyright infringement. Sorry, but i really hate the stupid theft analogies
2) As SD is well aware of this, a pirate is usually not a criminal, but more likely a potential but hesitant customer. If your product is convincing enough, he may turn and buy it. While some would go out and buy games if there would not be an option to pirate them, there are a lot more who just wouldn't. Many of the pirates are kids or young adults, who have no income of their own and no parents willing to buy them everything. They are the gaming enthusiasts, who - once they grow up and get their own money source - will keep the industry running by buying several games a month.
3) Last, but not least. Copyright law varies a lot depending on where you live. Distributing illegal copies is against the law almost everywhere, but downloading / using copies.. now thats a rather grey area.
I just wanted to point out, that piracy is not as black and white as some people point it out to be, and while I do not think it to be okay to openly admit that you are doing it, i also do not think that it should be the thing to blame for every problem the software industry has.
Off the top of my head, as a programmer with no knowledge of the implementation of Elemental. A binary patch, which is what a crack is, could be accidentally over-writing a code segment which is in charge of garbage collection, causing memory leaks.
Cracking involves disassembling the code and going through the assembly code to find the pieces that need to be changes. Thats why it is called reverse engineering. It is not just randomly modifying pieces of the executable file hoping for the best.
As with all programming, cracking is also prone to introducing bugs, especially since most crackers work under pressure to get things done before the other guy does. (It is some weird kind of competition going on in that scene, thats why they do it in the first place)
As for the bugs in the game. No offense, but my completely legal copy of the game plays like a beta, no matter how i twist and turn it, so i do not think that blaming any bugs on cracks is okay at this point. I do think however, that those with cracked versions should STFU and not pollute the forums with their problems as they make finding problems a lot harder by adding an extra variable to the mix: "Is it because of the crack?"
No idea really, why SD does not limit the forums based on game ownership. Not all of them of course, just the ones with the actual technical discussions in it. Would probably make their own life a lot easier.