I cannot avoid myself from repeating myself on how people will willingly trade their money for things of value (here, here, and here). I understand that many people take a very cynical view that people will not pay for what they can get for free. Well, the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. I am one of the example. On this Steam Summer Sale event, I decided to buy some games from Steam, which I could have obtained freely through many free download sites, in appreciation of the game developers’ effort.
It is interesting to see the approach deployed by services like Steam. They brought games into the market with reasonable price, discriminating buyers according to their purchase power based on country (hence, citizen in Indonesia might pay lower price than citizen in US), and providing so many extra values (community, developer diary, easy update, multiplayer support, etc) which can entice people to legally pay and support the developers. Personally, I favor this kind of approach in answering the issue of piracy, in comparison to tougher anti-piracy law, which potentially hurt the consumers and developers more (sometimes only benefiting the multimillionaire publishing corporation).
A brilliant approach that might be unthinkable ten years ago.
I guess a new era has dawned upon us. Let’s see what the future holds!