Software licenses actually make pretty good weapons. In its report, the BSA emphasizes that you can be fined up to $250,000 for illegally copying a single software title, since you are breaking copyright law. This is the same disproportionate punishment that can cost a college student thousands of dollars in fines for copying a song that costs 99 cents on iTunes. The difference is that the BSA has historically focused on cases of mass copying by larger businesses, fed by confidential informants (most likely, disgruntled former employees). By avoiding high-profile public lawsuits against students and grandmothers, the BSA has managed to steer clear of the public outrage heaped on the music and movie industries.
There's no denying that some people and businesses use software without paying for every copy they use. I work for a company that creates consumer software, and no doubt some people don't buy every copy they have. I'd bet that most copiers aren't intentional cheats, and don't realize they're breaking the rules by copying a single licensed program to several computers. In a business, employees may copy software not because they want to save the company money, but because the company's acquisition process takes too darned long. None of these individual acts seem like transgressions that justify a quarter-million-dollar punishment. Yet we have criminalized them to that level.
Inequitable laws sometimes have unintended effects. Advocates of strong copyright laws hoped that astronomical penalties would prevent anyone from even considering use of intellectual property in unapproved ways, or at least yield a big payday if someone dared to try. Instead, the Russian incident shows that those laws can just as easily be abused by a corrupt and tyrannical government. Following the lead of Microsoft, I think we should all fight tyranny before piracy.