Real Reason I Avoid Pirated Software
I wish I could say I have moral reasons for not using pirated/cracked software but I'm pretty practical about the issue. Cracked software isn't something new to me; I've used it a lot. No, like I said, I'm more practial about it.
BTW, because I've had too much to drink while I write this, I'm using pirated and cracked interchangeably though I know they both mean different things. Try to keep up...
I was once a big fan of not paying for software. While I was a kid and all through college I never paid for any computer programs; not one, not ever. I used to have collections of stuff that my friends and I would share with each other and our families (computers were HUGE in my family). Basic disk swapping really.
And then the Internet came into my world. I became very good at finding cracked programs (warez). First warez sites, then Morpheus, then Limelight, then Kazaa (sometimes all 4).
That said, a lot of people find it surprising that I hate to use cracked software now.
Anyway, I've found that pirated programs are a little unreliable. This could of course be attributed to the main software product, not just the cracked version, but I find that hard to believe (unless, of course, it's version 1 of a new Microsoft product). I've used both cracked and commercial versions of many programs and more often than not the cracked or pirated version is just more unstable.
Now, I admit, I've installed cracked programs that didn't have any viruses and worked as stable as you could want. But I've also ran into the other side where it just becomes a pretty big time investment.
There's also the whole virus thing which is definately a crap shoot; sometimes you're good, other times you get hit. But it's still an issue that, if you do get infected, now requires time to clean up. Kind of a bummer when it happens.
Another, smaller reason, is the whole update thing. A lot of companies (I'm looking at you Adobe) have started finding what versions are cracked and when updates are applied they disable the program. This means if you want to use a cracked program you had better not update it. Ever. No new security patches and no bug fixes. Sorry.
All the above is pretty lightweight though. I hate to say it, but if that's all there was to worry about I'd probably be all about it.
No, the biggest reason is because you just never know. You never know if the issue you're having with the program is because your computer sucks or because you're using a cracked version that's become unstable. How can you know?
If you rely on software for professional reasons (not a kid or student) it's just not worth the headache.