|Perl Monk, Perl Meditation|
Yes, this discussion did hit a nerve.
Although I also recently emigrated, and also from former Eastern Block country - From Slovakia (former Czechoslovakia), I do NOT agree with MeowChow. Just the opposite. Widespread neglect to rights of others (intelectual property, and also civic right) was one of the reasons why I decided to leave country where I grow up. It was not easy to leave in 40, basically throwing away all contacts what I build there, and my small software company with surviving product.
MeowChow protects student's "freedom" to steal CD. Student knows, or should know s/he is stealing. Book is expensive? What about car: woull be MeowChow like student who cannot afford own car drove Meows', while Meow is working and does not need it? Or take a shower in his appartment and then watch TV? Why not?
When I was running my small company in Slovakia, I bought tools of craft needed: PC, FoxBase and Borland C++. Price of software is very high compared with salary, it hurt a lot, and I confess I did my development on "stolen" copy of FoxBase and paid for it only after I first or second sale. Many other small software developers used only stoled software, but I bought it, because I believe it was fair.
I wrote this to assure you that even in Eastern block there are many developers who are not comfortable with stealing software. For them, Open Source is a godsend. Let's help it grow, and let's do everything to protect this spirit.
One of the reasons why tyrant as Stalin was possible in Russia was that people were afraid to protect rights of other citizens. "Better do it to him than me".
Sorry about long comment mostly repeating what other said, but I just cannot bear than you fellow monks might think that all programmers from Eastern Block are thieves. They are not, and after they come here they are as sensitive to fair play as americans are. I assure you, best of them do pay for tools they use and also expect to be paid fair.