One of the things that defined the early internet (and also the modern internet) was rampant file sharing. Sure, file sharing had been around before the internet, but the internet offered a whole new means to get software around the globe. I was only about 10 when the Napster trials went down, and I was around when the likes of Bearshare and Limewire made their debuts. Today, BitTorrent is the way to go for most pirates, with sites like The Pirate Bay and Demonoid offering millions of movies, games and books for totally free (and totally illegal).
What is the allure of the pirate lifestyle? On one side, there are people who practice their l337 skillz by cracking even the toughest anti-piracy measures of today's programs. On the other, are people who just want to save a buck by not paying for overpriced games and movies. I'm looking at you Starcraft II! Somewhere in the middle is the guy who's nephews showed him how to download Photoshop.
But despite the increasingly draconian restrictions, software piracy is here to stay. Unless some ridiculous measure is implemented (say, having to be online to play a single player game), it's very difficult to keep your program out of the hands of anyone who wants it. What companies don't seem to realize is that all these tactics don't hurt the pirates, but the people who aren't pirates. If a game ends up on a P2P site, then odds are all the "crap" has been removed and the people who download it won't run into any problems.
Even games like WoW can be found on sites such as these. You have to play on private servers, but so what? You don't have to pay up front for the game or monthly to actually play it. There are a lot of smaller, independent companies out there like Spiderweb Software and Stardock who avoid putting outrageous hurdles in their games. And guess what? They're not losing money. Gamers are people too, and when they're not being treated like criminals they're willing to step forward and pay for a game that's worth it.
I can only hope that more companies will realize this before it's too late, and PC gaming dies out completely (save for these small independent companies), and everything moves to consoles, where software piracy is completely unheard of.