I appreciate the venting. I wish I could do the same about the some people that get help from me. But, I can't.
I've noticed something, and it's particularly interesting seeing this on an Open Source application blog. Some lack of understanding, and some lack of courtesy. Mainly in that order.
There are two premises in conflict here. One group believes that knowledge is equivalent to planting crops in a field which are tangible and finite objects that can later be sold at market for a price. The other group believes that knowledge is not a scarce or finite commodity, and that it may be in fact immoral to obscure knowledge for personal gain. I gather this is the perspective you're imagining for if you are a developer calling a person a pirate.
The purpose of property rights in all their forms and function are to prevent conflict between people over a scarce resource, such as land or food or any finite resource. 1-1=0. When 1=1, then that isn't property.
An example of recent intellectual property, consider the Dark Ages, where information was considered only to been given to the noble or religiously ranked in society. During that time mankind halted in it's progress of invention and understanding of the world around them. It sucked, and we all suffered because of it. Yes, even today. We would technologically now be 500 years ahead if knowledge was not considered property between 400-900AD.
But this isn't what you are angry about(is it?) The irritation here is not the fact that you put a gui on a project that already existed, and did so with what was freely given to you. It's that you gave a person your time and labor freely that didn't deserve it in your mind. I feel for you, and we've all been there. All people that live off their labor have been in that situation- daily. I'm sorry, but this is a possibility in every transaction. It can and does happen to everyone.
In reality knowledge is not a finite resource(no matter what the current laws say), especially in open sourced products(not secret), so I disagree that the greater harm is to share information and then ask your for help with what you modified. Which is what people in the news today call pirates/ninjas/crackers. They used to call them librarians. But whatever the name, that's what they do.
I get paid for the same thing that you get paid for. Information management and the support of that information. I don't get paid more for helping idiots or working weekends. I figure the more idiots I help the less idiots there will be. It can't hurt.
And after doing this for nearly two decades, I realized that there are only two physical properties to information. It is either secret or it is not. And eventually, nothing is secret.
I agree with you that helping a guy that isn't giving back in the way you think will benefit you is angering. I get that. But think a step further. The open source file that you modified and made better is replicated throughout the world. People that wouldn't know who you are or what you do would use it and like it. Many many people. A few of those many people would then decide to support you that otherwise wouldn't know you from a hole in the wall. This is more than your website and registered download can accomplish on it's own. If this wasn't the case, then there would be no reason to replicate it. There would be no use for a pirate.
But you say you already give it away for free with little effort. In what language? On what network? Is it as easy as clicking a link? Does it matter? Your goals are reached faster and more efficiently.
I don't know if this guy asked for support and didn't buy the program, put it on a peer to peer network in guam, or turned coke to pepsi. It doesn't matter. The fact is that you helped a guy, which may or may not have helped you craft a better way to do things.
As for me, I give money to people for their labor if I like what they're doing. There is nothing more to it than that. There is no law to govern this other than natural law. Intellectual property is an oxymoron. If it was property(which is finite- which means it is secret), nobody would know about it but the owner. So it is therefore rendered moot. If a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody to hear it..
Anyhow, I've pissed you off or bored you long enough. I do want you to know that I do like what you are doing and I am paying you. Don't sweat helping people that you think don't deserve it. We're all in the same boat- even the idiots. We'll get there faster if we give according to our ability. That's it. Take care.