Open Letter to Hobbyists - by Bill Gates (1976)
The Open Letter to Hobbyists was a 1976 open letter written by Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, to early personal computer hobbyists, in which Gates expresses dismay at the rampant software piracy taking place in the hobbyist community, particularly with regard to his company's software. In the letter, Gates expressed frustration with most computer hobbyists who were using his company's Altair BASIC software without having paid for it. He asserted that such widespread unauthorized copying in effect discourages developers from investing time and money in creating high-quality software. He cited the unfairness of gaining the benefits of software authors' time, effort, and capital without paying them.