Actually i was refering to the word "steal" not "pirates". Stealing has a specific wide-known meaning with properties that do not match the act of making illegal copies (with the most known one that when you steal something the original owner loses what you stole while when you make an illegal copy, the copied material is still available to the original owner). No matter how you might feel that making illegal copies is like "stealing" or "theft", it is still an invalid use of the word. This wikipedia article quote about copyright infringement vs theft explains it clearly: Interestingly "piracy", although it sounds funny to some extent, it has been widely accepted as the act of copyright infringement and (unlike 'stealing' or 'theft') has been used in legal text. Still with the popularity of pirates as presented by cartoons, movies, comics, etc as rebels, anti-heroes and in general in some "good" light, i'm not sure i want to associate them with those who simply make illegal copies of software. This is why i usually prefer to say "when you make an illegal copy of <something>...blah" instead of "when you pirate <something>...blah". Of course anyone is free to use whatever word he likes and give any meaning he likes. However when trying to discuss, make a point and educate someone, it is prefered to use the correct words. You *have* to sound like you're *the* definite source of knowledge about something that matters to you, or else few people will take your words seriously.