Originally Posted by HansTWN
Why do you assume that paying customers are against companies suing freeloaders that get the same services for free? You are correct about the obscene amounts of money demanded in those lawsuits, but I am sure most paying customers want prices to be lower, which can only happen if companies can find ways to stem such losses.
That only works if the piracy is "losses." If it's not actually taking profits away, but only providing the works to people who otherwise would not have paid to them, ending piracy is likely to *drop* profits, as word-of-mouth recommendations will drop with the readership.
All the serious studies indicate that piracy is a side-effect of popularity, and doesn't seem to have any impact one way or the other on sales.
Charlie Stross pointed out that, traditionally, 75% of readers don't pay into an author's income stream. Trying to remove that 75% from the readership means losing a large section of the fanbase of a book--if the only readers are those who paid for it new, once the work gets recommended to someone who can't afford it today, it's forgotten, and that rec stream ends.