Quote: "But how do they do that when it's hard to beat FREE?"
Still doesn't change the basic equation.
Just to make some figures up. Lets say something has a perceived value of £5.
If it's legally available at £10, then lots of people are likely to pirate.
if it was legally available for £5, then a lot of people who would have pirated, and going to think, "Is it worth the risk of getting caught, when the £5 is actually what I think it's worth?". Plus if you do like the artist, for music, or developer for a game, and you want them to produce more, I suspect most people like the idea of support them. (Not EA of course, never EA!).
Yes you'll always have some people who would pirate anyway if they can, that's why I used $piracy-- rather than $piracy=0.
I don't think you'll ever stop piracy 100%, even if everything was free, people would still complain it's in the wrong format or something. Like people who download movies, when they already have it on disk, as they want a version that will play on their tablet, and don't have the hardware/software, or perhaps the patience, to rip the disk themselves.