One of the strengths of EVE Online is that the game's professions can be freeform. Many players take the standard route of being a miner or a mission runner. However, new and deviant professions have arisen in a kind of symbiosis with the more established trades in the game. This is the focus of an article called 'Morality and Legality', written by ISD Magnus Balteus of CCP Games. 'Morality and Legality' looks at two of the sketchier professions that sprang from EVE's more standard career paths.
Mining has given rise to ore theft, which boils down to theft that has the side benefit of potentially baiting the victim into combat, even in high security space. If the ore thief or 'can flipper' is successful, he or she can make off with the ore that someone else mined plus the modules looted from the miner's ship wreck. The morality of this type of career doesn't even enter into the equation... this is EVE. CCP's unwillingness to change the game mechanics involved in can flipping means that this is not an exploit, it's a valid profession, albeit not in the mind of the miner victim.
While mining is one of EVE's main professions, highsec mission running is becoming increasingly popular among capsuleers. A dedicated mission runner typically earns more isk per hour than a miner, with the number of pilots in some mission hub systems numbering into the hundreds. The numbers of wrecks created by mission runners on most any given Level 4 mission entices a new breed of player to profit from the work of others. These ninja salvagers scan down mission runners and invade their missions, salvaging the numerous wrecks for components which are resold on the market. Mission runners, being in highsec, cannot fire upon ninja salvagers... who can rest assured of their safety while engaging in their trade, despite the frequent threats they receive.
Have a look at 'Morality and Legality' (login required) and let us know if you're earning a living or just having fun with ore thievery or ninja salvaging. If you're a pilot taking the more traditional route of mining and mission running, how do you feel about professions that allow others to benefit from your work?