As the first software patent was issued in 1966, it is fair to assume that the issue of copying and distributing these copies has been around for almost the same amount of time. Although it was one Bill Gates back in 1976 who highlighted the issue by writing an open letter accusing copiers of theft, (whatever happened to him!)?
It was only in the 1980’s when computers became affordable that the copying of software became a big business and we reach the point where almost anyone can be accused of being pirate and the consequences can be stiff indeed for anyone found guilty of this crime against software developers. According to some figures there could be over a billion pirates out there, the product that has been pirated and downloaded the most is Photoshop from Adobe!
Source [Torrent Freak]