Edit: There does seem to be a bit of confusion from some people about my stance, so I want to be perfectly clear: We shouldn't require users to prove they own a copy of the game, and we should assume they do. However, if a user admits to pirating the game, then we should close it. Remember, "Don't ask, don't tell" doesn't mean if they do tell us, that we just put our fingers in our ears and pretend we didn't hear them.
A question has popped up recently, where a user is having trouble running their pirated version of Battlefield 1942:
This isn't the first such question we've received like this, and it won't be the last. However, as often seems to be the case when questions like this pop up, there's a discussion (either in chat or the comments) about whether or not the question should be closed. In this situation, I'll often see users point to RavenDreamers meta post, where he says:
I agree with Agent86 -- if all references to pirated content can be removed from a question (or answer), that should be done, and the question let stand
This is all fine and dandy, and I agree with this in the case of "I can't beat this boss! Also my game is pirated". However, in situations like the above, we're literally helping users run a pirated copy of the game. There's no dancing around the subject, no "don't ask don't tell", the user has freely admitted to pirating the game, and wants our help to run the software. Getting a pirated game to run is part of the process of pirating a game, so therefore us helping a user run their pirated software means we're helping them run a pirated game. Full stop.
I'm sure some people will claim we can't know piracy is the root of the issue, but we have no way of not knowing that either. After all, game developers have been known to take steps so that pirated software won't function properly. 1 2 Additionally, even if piracy wasn't the problem, it doesn't matter, because we're still helping users pirate the game.
If we don't apply our piracy policy in the case of helping someone run pirated software, then why do we even bother having that policy in the first place?