One of the more important points made in Matt Mason's book, The Pirate's Dilemma
is that piracy almost always is a leading indicator
for what the market wants, but isn't being delivered. This is a point that's extremely
difficult for those whose content is being pirated to grasp -- because their natural reaction is to feel like a victim, rather than the recipient of useful market data. So, it's great to see that's not always the case. A couple people have sent in a story about a pair of small time iPhone developers who recently discovered that their iPhone game had been cracked and a ton of people were downloading it for free. Rather than freak out about it, the guy had an open conversation with the cracker
who explained why he did it. Basically, he said he was disappointed with the fact that many games did not live up to the quality level promised, and a cracked version let them try before they bought. The developer actually felt that was a good point, and is now looking into alternative business models for his app, including a try-before-you-buy option, or an ad supported version. It's also worth pointing out, by the way, that the day that the app was getting pirated a ton, it also brought in more sales than usual...