End of the “Free Lunch”?

I read somewhere not long ago, that “people no longer expect things to be free on the Internet, and don’t mind paying for things anymore”.

At the time I thought “pffft. Gimme it for free or I’ll go elsewhere…” but I just realised that I have come around to this way of thinking. I no longer have any qualms about paying for software off of the net. I no longer expect all sites to have 100% free content. Instead, I find myself looking for the “pay here” button, or buying the full version in a shop. Heck, I even bought a legit copy of Windows XP Upgrade the other day. 6 months ago, I would’ve downloaded it off of Kazaa.

Obviously, I like getting freebies as much as the next person – as long as they are “worth it”, if you will. More and more, freebies aren’t worth the bother of downloading. The 2 notable exceptions that I use, are Mozilla and Open Office, but these are the exceptions.

The only thing I refuse to pay for however, is a web script (PHP/ASP/whatever). Probably because I’m a web designer, and with a bit of reading and learning, I could do whatever the paid for script does, with one of my own scripts.

But why the change? Why aren’t people demanding their “free lunch” anymore? Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Or is it just me?