Purchasing the software from anywhere other than a Discreet Licenced Retailer (suchas Amazon.co.uk) is illegal... even editing for longer trial time is illegal.
If you alter, edit or in anyway compromise a product without the Developers permission - oftenly this is illegal, which as Max 5 is protected under the same agreement as all other Discreet products ... then it is safe to say it is completely illegal. Barring all of that, it is also very immoral to do such - if you can't afford something then you don't have it!
Atlest with other piracy industries, like Movie Tapes/DvDs - Clothes - Hardware, you know that if you get it then you will be getting an inferior product!
Whereas software wise, you just get a crack for a copy of the full product - bing bang whallop you have it!
Saying that when you can afford it really isn't an excuse, and perhaps you should know that the current fine for illegal possesion of software within the UK is £3,000 (which is double what it bloody costs!) ... plus you'll get 3months in Juvy!
Contract work isn't really a job unless your in an agency or are good enough to have a reputation - even then personally think anything you don't get payed for weekly isn't really a job more of a hobby.
Reason for saying its a hobby is that the work and pay is uncertain.
If you wish to be a 3D artist then use Gmax and wait until you goto Uni to get onto Computer Art or such and you will be using the latest version of Max there (always freakin' max
From what I've actually seen Gmax takes NOTHING away from actual modeling side of things, and only the animation is cutdown - but still 10x better than Milkshape as you can Weight, IK and and Fin!
If you want to start CGI stuff then use a different product, that allows it on your budget - and yes Maya will take about 7-8 hours, but it isn't all in one go!
That was the point in recommending Go!Zilla, as you can just pause the download and continue later... 2 hours a day and in a few days its yours.
Holy jumping mother of god NOOOO!!!...
Ahem I mean, I'll think about it