How do you value things that are freely obtained?

Amanda Palmer talks about how she’s monetized her art in a non-traditional manner, and how much success she has had and how much money she has made despite giving her music away for free.

Her husband had some words about piracy that dovetail beautifully with Amanda’s philosophy. They got me to thinking — how much do we really value the things that we get without paying for them?
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Neil Gaiman: Piracy boosts sales

It’s very telling to see someone extraordinarily popular, extraordinarily widely-read, and with a great deal to lose, put his own works up on the internet for free as an experiment, and change his mind about piracy when the empirical evidence proves his original thoughts on the matter wrong.

Just yesterday, I bought a copy of Watchmen — my first ever — despite having read it years ago. Why would I have bought it, if I already know the story? If I already read it for free once before? Because the content is worth it to me, and I never would have known that for certain if I hadn’t read it first.
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