The Warez scene, often referred to as The Scene—an underground "community" specializing in the distribution of pirated content, including copyrighted material such as television shows and series, movies, music, music videos, games, applications, ebooks, and pornography—started emerging around 1975. It was used by predecessors of software cracking and reverse engineering groups who made their work public on privately run BBS systems.
"Warez, and its leetspeak form W4r3z, are plural representations of the word "ware" (short for computer software), and are terms used to refer to "[p]irated software distributed over the Internet," that is, "[s]oftware that has been illegally copied and made available" e.g., after having "protection codes de-activated". "Cracking, or circumventing copy protection, is an essential part of the warez process," (Wikipedia article on Warez, accessed 7-2019).
"The first BBSes were located in the USA, but similar boards started appearing in the UK, Australia and mainland Europe. At the time setting up a machine capable of distributing data was not a trivial matter and required a certain amount of technical skill. The reason it was usually done was for the technical challenge. The BBS systems typically hosted several megabytes of material. The best boards had multiple phone lines and up to one hundred megabytes of storage space, which was very expensive at the time. Releases were mostly games and later applications" (Wikipedia article on the Warez scene, accessed 07-20-2009).