I have seen some misinformation posted from some contributors on regarding the legality of keygens, crackers, torrent clients, and so on. Being a legal specialist in this field, I felt I need to clear up some of these misconceptions.
What needs to be emphasized the most is the fact that it is highly possible that many of these programs contain rootkits, trojans, malware, etc. Simply for that fact they should be avoided.
Under US law, sharing digital media is not illegal unless the person sharing it is profiting. This extends to music, movies, games, keygens, anything. The DMCA is usually cited as the legislation making "piracy" illegal, but that is not the case. The DMCA extends copyright violations to include digital media. Copyrights are only violated if someone is profiting.
Here's an example: if you burn 100 CD's of your favorite album and sell them to different people, you would be violating the DMCA because you are profiting off of someone else's property. But, if instead of selling the CD's you give them away for free, currently you are not violating US law. This principle is the same behind "piracy"
Now I'm not advocating piracy or theft in any way, shape, or form; but it is important to know the law instead of opinionated rhetoric that is not factually accurate. Where I think this applies on this forum more than anywhere else would be in the "Am I infected?" section and other malware-removal assistance areas. When a specialist sees that someone has, for example, uTorrent installed on their machine or a keygen, educating them on the security risks of such programs is absolutely prudent. But telling them that those programs constitute illegal activity is unethical and dishonest.
Information is always better than disinformation, folks. Even if it can empower someone to do something that you disagree with.
The holy grail of scare tactics is Reefer Madness. See how well that worked?
Just my 2c.