Why is it that software is still
easily pirated today?
It's more profitable to sell software that's easy to pirate.
When deciding about anti-piracy measures, companies do a cost-benefit analysis. For any given set of measures, if the benefits don't outweigh the costs, the company doesn't do it.
Costs include time and effort to implement, document, support and maintain the measures, and perhaps sales losses if they're really annoying. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of benefits:
- Larger profits because people who would have pirated the program bought it instead..
- The people who make decisions are happy the program isn't getting pirated.
Here's a simple example: Microsoft Office.
Now, MS is all about the money, and not so much about making execs happy about piracy. For some time, MS has been selling a "Home and Student" edition of Office for way cheaper than the "normal" edition for business. I bought this a few years ago, and it had no copy protection at all! And the "anti-piracy" technology consisted of entering a product key which was then stored in the application folder. But you could run it on as many computers as you wanted simultaneously, and they'd all run fine! In fact, on the Mac, you could drag the application folder across the network to another computer where you'd never done an installation, and because the product key was stored with the application, it ran great.
Why such pathetic anti-piracy technology? Two reasons.
The first is because the added cost of tech support for home users screwing up their installations was just not worth it.
The second is the non-technical anti-piracy measures. MS has a whistleblower program where if you know a company has pirated MS software - like installing 200 copies of the same "Home and Student" Office - you can give them a call. Then MS comes in and audits the company, and if it finds pirated software, sues the crap out of them - and you get a big cut of the winnings.
So MS doesn't have to use technology to prevent piracy. They find it more profitable to just use cold, hard cash.