I know the thread and members you are talking about. I would like to say that both have proved to be real assets to Seven Forums, being respected senior members. The software discussed is somewhere in the grey area, it's possible to get it semi-legally, and there's quite a clear consensus that the makers of that software are misusing their proprietary rights allowing said software being used only in certain hardware setups.
That said, it's of course very sensitive issue to be discussed here. You have certainly noticed that quite a lot can and will be said between the lines; just read some torrent or grace period related threads. I believe the other members tried to stop that discussion before it went beyond the point of no return
IMO, John, Shawn and the staff are doing remarkable job, trying to find balance and keep Seven Forums legal, respected and valued by all parties. The more I read these forums, the more respect I have for them.
There's a reason why the Seven Forums was voted as the best Windows 7 website 2009.