Cory Doctorow give his books away free. Obscurity is worse than piracy. http://bit.ly/buNiGW Has worked well for him. His books are international bestsellers.
Unauthorized copying (sometimes mistakenly called ‘piracy’ or ‘theft’) isn’t going to go away and truthfully cannot be stopped, so the only logical solution is to find new business models that work.
There is only one thing worse for an artist or creative than having work downloaded without authorization and that’s to be lost in obscurity so no-one knowns about it. I’ve written about my views on my own materials but it’s interesting to read the opinion of someone who depends on his writing for his livelihood and still gives it away free.
As a practical matter, we live in the 21st century and anything anybody wants to copy they will be able to copy. If you are building a business model that says that people can only copy things with your permission, your business is going to fail because whether or not you like it, people will be able to copy your product without your permission. The question is: what are you going to do about that? Are you going call them thieves or are you going to find a way to make money from them?