Re: The path to hell
The developer's end goal might seem worthy when you phrase it a certain way - e.g.: to stop people distributing cracking tools for their software - but, more simply, the goal is to protect their profit.
That's what all DRM is, after all.
Looking at this specific case, it seems apparent that, while the behaviour of the cracker(s) is clearly illegal, the closed, 'in group' nature of the distribution (of the cracking tools) implies that the damage could not have been overly large.
Of course, the software itself is relatively niche but still, this cracking operation seems to be available only to a select few and not anyone who just searches online for "give me tha free warez!!!"
What we have here is a classic case of a digital company believing that they have some intrinsic right to do whatever it takes to make sure everyone is paying them.
In this case, they massively over-reached given the likely scope of the problem but the point is that this kind of behaviour is inherently poor form (ignoring the legality) and crosses a line (distributing spyware) that shouldn't be crossed no matter the motivation.