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Motivations and arguments
There is a growing movement, exemplified by groups like The Pirate Party and scholars at the The Mises Institute, that the very idea of intellectual property is an anathema to free society. This is in contrast to some of the more traditional open source advocates such as Lawrence Lessig, who advocate for middle ground between freedom and intellectual property. For these people the argument is not about exploiting anything; it's about the freedom to control their own property such as their computers.
Software pirates generally exploit the international nature of the copyright issue to avoid law enforcement in specific countries.
The production and/or distribution of warez is illegal in most countries. However, it is typically overlooked in poorer third world countries with weak or non-existent protection for intellectual property. Additionally, some first world countries have loopholes in legislation that allow the warez to continue.