Well...perhaps I should edit my post...and juxtapose 'fine gentlemen' where I currently have 'creatures' ...but alas, I think not.
If there is a point to be had it is that I am personally insulting those who steal from Stardock yet have the effrontery to come here and condemn Stardock as if they had anything to do with their current malaise.
And... I am not Stardock.
Stardock, on the other hand, as exemplified by Neil Banfield's input here has been more than helpful...and not 'just' to their paying customers...but even, dare I say to those 'fine gentlemen' who undermine their livelihood.
How does THIS benefit the actual paying SD Customer? By showing them how fair-minded the company they financially support really is.
However... MY wishing to give these kids an 'arse-kicking' is purely and simply a result of my OWN upbringing...where I was taught right from wrong and got a clip 'round the ear when I got it wrong, not some "please don't do it again...therapy session is at 11" - response.
As for 'impact on the skinning community' ....the reality is...IF everyone pirated Windowblinds...and no-one purchased it then Stardock would have no motivation to continue with it. It would die, as have many skinnables in the past. Sites have died for the same reason...commercial viability. WHEN that viability is lost then you will find Skinning will wither...to become a back-yard garage-band existence or at best a feeble echo of its halcyon days. THAT is the impact which needs must be addressed.
Skinning is essentially the newest/unique artform.....like discovering photography all of a sudden, or oils...or maybe even the mathematics of perspective. It's still new [meaning pretty-well within everyone's lifetime here]... but that does not make it indelible or permanent...not when warez-kiddies believe they have a God-given right to anarchy, all in the name of free-speech, whatever.
Regarding your own 'full awareness'...from what I'd gleaned from your post it appeared to be lacking....if my clarification appeared insulting it wasn't intended, so apologies offered...
The good old days of free-skins and free-skinning are fading....as the skinning proggies become more sophisticated the efforts of the skinners really demand/deserve an income...and no, repeat, NO form of income comes to ANYONE from the warez users.
I think it's fairly safe to say that 'most' skinners will echo my sentiments...