There are a multitude of sites where you can download software for free off the Internet. While they can be useful, there are pros and cons to actually illegally downloading the paid software, not the least of which are hefty fines for copyright abuse.
Some argue that software should be free and be at the disposal of the user at all times. This view is both visionary, and also unfair towards the developers of the software. While it is great that users can have complete control over their own system, there are also some users who cannot make full use of that control, and also may be more confused by all the functions that they don’t know how to use. In addition, software that is downloaded illegally does not give credit to the time and effort the developers have put into it, meaning that the people who made the software for everyone to use does not actually get their full payment from the people who are using it.
This is where Open Source software can be factored in. Some people are happy to pay for software that they can use easily, and some would rather make their own. Open Source software such as Linux can be used by those who want to customize it, and is completely free to download and alter. For those who are less knowledgeable, they can buy what they’ve always bought and give the developers their due for all the hard work that they’ve put into it. A smart solution to the problem, in my opinion.
Note that Free Software and Open Source software are different, as Open Source does not have the same base values as the Free Software movement.