What Is Warez Trading?
The generic term "warez trader" imprecisely lumps together at least four disparate sub-communities within the warez scene. To understand the warez scene, each sub-community must be analyzed separately.
Warez distributors are fairly large and organized operations optimized to generate high volumes of new warez quickly.6 These operations divide several discrete tasks among their members, including sourcing new warez, cracking any technological protection devices, testing the cracked warez to make sure that they still work, packing the warez for easy distribution, couriering the warez from site to site, doing systems administration, and managing/overseeing the operations.
Warez collectors collect and trade warez independent of the distribution groups. They may be trying to gain admission to a warez distribution group, hobbyists who want to be on technology's cutting edge, or enthusiasts who like showing off trophies.7
Warez downloaders don't trade warez per se. Instead, they download warez to use them (on a trial or permanent basis). Many warez downloaders just want free software or the latest cutting-edge stuff.8 However, commercial piracy operations also download warez as new products to press on CDs and sell.9
Abandonware enthusiasts collect, trade, and distribute out-of-print software (especially games).10 Some abandonware enthusiasts consider themselves historians or archivists, but in all other respects their motivations are indistinguishable from other warez traders.