Software development is still a relatively immature field and its business ethics are slow to come in line with accepted practices in other industries. This should be no surprise, as manufacturers were equally slow to realize how to maximize productivity at the beginning of the Industrial revolution. The good news is that the legislative infrastructure exists to handle workers being abused and that an end is in sight.
Even more encouraging is that as the industry matures, better practices are likely to emerge. Companies will always attempt near impossible projects, but as software management and employment matures, we are getting better able to recognize these situations and deal with them appropriately.