Totally, i remember back in the day people who owned legit copies of Cubase running the hacked versions as the performance was better due to the CPU overhead of the protection system being disabled.
I used to feel a right mug in the years where i was DJing with Ableton too, i never met one person who owned a legal copy of it in their rig and i used to get laughed at cause i had paid for it, being asked ‘why?’…!
From my perspective I think anyone who’s grown up investing into audio hardware can see the value in well developed software, so i’ve always equated what a DAW can do with a hardware sequencer so they’ve always offered huge value for money in comparison. Someone coming from a different perspective of course would see things differently.
But yes, knowing that the product you’ve purchased is protected from others just walking in and taking it for free, definitely adds value… Particularly when you’re paying yearly for the upgrades. If there was a hacked copy of Cubase available that ran better or had bug fixes, that’d be a right kick in the nuts… But history has shown it’s possible.