I'd be careful arguing that this period was pre-piracy, copying floppy disks containing commercial software/games was rampant in this period among many enthusiasts. Software piracy arguably came of age with floppy disks, and there was all sorts of weird and wonderful attempts to combat it.
I still really miss the weird 'papercraft' contraptions that started to appear with many games in the mid to late 80s that had to be used to 'verify' you had a legitimate copy. As a kid I particularly enjoyed the "Grail Diary" that came with your 5 1/4 inch floppies for the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade adventure game, and required the use of red acetate cardboard glasses (also included!) to reveal hidden messages printed on the page.
(On a skim, the article cites computer gaming as a factor in the crash, stating that computers were booming when consoles were crashing.)
The design of the code wheels for those games that had them was often surprisingly elaborate as well.
And also it didn't hurt that railway enthusiasts knew two-thirds of the locomotives by heart anyway.