This whole thread has become quite apposite for me as I munched my way through half of Ready Player One last night.
In terms of software - I remember most of my copied stuff in the early 90s came from a guy who was the local representative of FAST.
That's: Federation Against Software Theft.
I think he only joined for the irony.
This is the machine I'll always think of as the faithful companion of my youth:
Best peripheral I ever built for it was when I took the trucks off a skateboard, dismembered an old Atari controller and with the aid of a lot of tape and tin foil created a control for driving games - I used it like a hover board to play powerdrift...