Three Britons who led the piracy ring DrinkOrDie.com have been jailed for between 18 and 30 months for their efforts in stealing software and making it available for free over the internet. A fourth was given an 18 month suspended sentence. DrinkOrDie was one of the more notorious cracker groups, which the prosecution said was motivated by "hatred for software companies". The article claims the group cost Microsoft "millions of dollars in profit and enraged its chairman, Bill Gates", although gave no account of how the figure was reached -- something that is very hard to do with any precision or accuracy.
However, it's clear that these men were breaking the law by infringing copyright and should have been punished. If you're against the high prices and monopolistic practices of large software corporations the best thing to do is support open source software or alternative programs.