I found this quite an interesting article

This is an extract

I'm referring to Piracy (shhh, no so loud), the act of stealing copyrighted material instead of shelling out hard cash for it. Recently, I started to reexamine my own thoughts on piracy and I realized that I feel like a hypocrite. Since I started working for NAG, I've become very aware of the impact piracy has on the individuals inside the distributors that pay the big monies they do to secure the rights to bring in a certain range of titles, as well as the money they spend shipping those titles into our country. Real people are impacted by local piracy, people I know and who I like, so I don't like to see them worry about poor sales of a game due to piracy.

As a result, on the forums, in the IRC channel and other places where I represent NAG I make sure to always rebut anyone who mentions piracy in a positive light, or admits to having pirated themselves. This left me feeling like a full-fledged hypocrite for a few reasons.

Firstly, when I was a young gamer, still suffering under the parental units and not having my own income as well as struggling with school, I pirated games. As a writer for the most prominent gaming magazine in the country, admitting this feels like admitting to my own children (if I had any) that I did drugs in High-School, and that they should never do drugs. It is, in truth, entirely unfair of me to lambaste the young'uns who are pirating games. Said young'uns often say they do it because they simply cannot afford the games they want - the same excuse I once used.

After some lengthily discussion on the subject, I was given what I believe to be some useful advice - that perhaps piracy isn't a black-and-white issue and that there may be much more to it. As most pirates know, when a Warez group releases a game for people to pirate they always sternly remind people, "If you like the game, please buy it". It was those exact words that eventually led me to where I am now - an adult, buying as many games as I can afford (which compared to a young'un, is quite a lot). People like stuff, but more importantly, people like to own stuff. DVD sales are, I believe, a good indicator of this.

What I've come to realize, is that piracy is possibly the single most important word-of-mouth element in advertising games and growing the gaming market. I might be lynched by several factions for even suggesting it: but I believe piracy is needed if gaming is to survive.

The problem is, I am essentially trying to support the idea of responsible theft - something that is near-impossible to explain to the people who stand to lose money from piracy. Based on my own experience, piracy is the number one reason that South Africa even has a gaming industry right now. The PlayStation 2, I believe wholeheartedly, owes its local success entirely due to the flea-markets selling pirate PS2 games and the mod-chips that run them.

It requires you to believe in people, but I've come to realize that you get several types of pirates, some more useful to the industry than others - but the trick is the majority of pirates are still good people who, once they are financially more secure, would prefer to own stuff rather than dick around with pirating and cracking and hassling with updates... People who, after having gotten faith in certain game developers that they'll deliver on the goods thanks to being able to check out games via piracy since games are not cheap and demos are often carefully constructed advertisements or lies, will buy their own games.

That specific majority of pirates are important, but it doesn't condone selling pirate copies of games to make money - it may be a bit hippy, but don't copy that floppy if you're going to sell it - copy that floppy to see if it's something you want to support with your money. I believe in you.