coachm - 6:08 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)
What is the value of 1 of the reports? Is it $1 + profit margin or $1 million + profit margin?
You're getting caught in a kind of mental trap here about "value". The MARKET value of a "thing", which is basically what you get if you sell it, has very little to do with the cost of production, in our economic system, and that's where you get a bit lost.
The "market" value of a thing, which is what dictates pricing, demand, etc and determines whether companies can continue to exist is simply what people will pay. If people will pay one dollar for a report that cost a million to create, its value is one dollar and not a penny more.
Which then gets us to the issue, and that is how do buyers assess value? A complex question, but the obvious and accurate partial answer is on the basis of supply, and demand.
Pirating ebooks provides a virtual limitless supply of the "thing", driving down its market value. The Internet does that in a different way, even when it is legal. Having so much free content makes it almost impossible to sell content on the Internet, because of the perceptions that it's so plentiful.