Forty years ago, no one could have imagined the impact that computers would have on the world. Indeed Thomas J Watson, Chairman of the Board of IBM said in the 1950s that he thought "there was a world market for about only five computers." With more than 700 million computers on earth today, Mr Watson was clearly wrong.
As most people know, you need hardware and software to make a computer work. Hardware includes the computer screen, the mouse, keyboard and of course the central processing unit that does all of the hard work for you.
Software includes the computer's operating system, games and office productivity software (like PowerPoint or Word). Software is a form of intellectual property and is entitled to just as much protection as real property like your car or your home.
软件包括计算机的操作系统、游戏以及办公软件（如PowerPoint 或者 Word ）。软件是知识产权的一种形式，而且应该受到和你的不动产，如汽车或者房子等一样的保护。
Nobody would say that to steal hardware was OK, but millions of people around the world think that it is perfectly acceptable to steal software by copying it. Copying software and giving it away or selling it is stealing and therefore wrong.
Software can be expensive - often more than you can afford - but that is no reason to think it is OK to steal it or buy a pirated copy. Mercedes Benz cars are also expensive, but I cannot just go out and help myself to one just because I want one.
Software is expensive to develop. If developers cannot make money by selling their software, how will they fund the development of new software to make our lives even easier?