Y'know, that's one of those lovely theories until you start looking at the actual facts and seeing the REASONS for the use of knock-offs. A piece of music software turns up on 4 DVDS in a box. No manual - it's a PDF on a DVD. Cost of 4 blank DVDs, retail - £1, Brit money. Cost of printing a box, again retail - about 30 Brit pence. So you've just paid several hundreds of whatever currency you use to buy £1.30's worth of raw materials.
Now THAT kinda markup is something even Apple's Steve Jobs would applaud, rest him in peace.
I don't mind paying for something. I DO, however, object to being right royally ripped off. I know you've gotta put development costs onto the price - but don't forget the development costs for Version 2 are being met from the profits from Version One and so on. Now if you could buy something for £1.30 - less than 3 bucks - and sell it for over $300, you'd howl if your profits were being eaten into. But the fact is, they're grossly overdone in the first place.
Smuggling's always been for the same reason - people refusing to be ripped off for something. If they see the price as fair, they're less likely to buy the smugglers' wares. As soon as software companies stop their huge rip-offs in the name of 'profit', the sooner the smugglers - 'pirates' - will look less inviting. At the moment, if you want to write computer music, they're often our greatest resource.
I will disagree here a bit. I find that the software that I use, is well worth the money I paid for it. If there were not a market for such software, then it wouldn't exist. I make money using Cubase, and the bulk of VST software that I paid for. I am not on a welfare program, so I do not see it fit to take handouts, nor steal to make money.
I myself own a tile installation business as well as the studio. My income there is drastically reduced due to others doing the work at a lesser price. Not pirating, but it has the same result. I can't continue to give the quality of work, without compromising somewhere. Would you rather have inferior product/software because the developers cant make a profit? IMO, Software is actually damn cheap, considering what it takes to produce it. If you cant come up with the money to create a business, or finance a hobby, then collect stamps or something that doesn't infringe on your ability to smoke crack.
The amount someone is willing to invest in their craft, is directly relative to how relevant they are at it. Pirates generally seem to be those that like to take advantage. Real talent does not cut corners, nor beg or steal to make music. They do not need to.