Re: The path to hell
I wasn't saying that they don't have a right to protect their profits; I was pointing out that their 'good intentions' were not altruistic; they just wanted to make sure people weren't using their products without paying and that goal is nowhere near sufficient justification for what they did.
As I have said at every opportunity in previous comments, I am not a supporter of those who violate copyright and I have little sympathy for them.
BUT, I do not believe that violating copyright is so serious and grave a threat to society that deploying malware and spyware is justified in order to stop it.
Compare this to cases where the FBI have performed similar actions (i.e. installed malware/spyware) to catch people involved in a child-porn ring. THAT situation is serious and a genuine threat to the most vulnerable among us but even then these powers are a step to far in many people's minds.
My point, again, is simply that, if there is some line beyond which the ends justify these means, this situation does not even come close to reaching that mark.
Installing malware/spyware on someone else's computer is a far greater offence than running some software without paying.
@mosw has summed it up perfectly.