I remember some decades ago, well before videos made it to disk, concerns and conversations about the same thing as applies to audio CDs. It was revealed that the music industry was jacking the price up just way too high; too much of a mark-up. This was not being done by the artists, who were fairly content with their profit, it was done by the greedy middle men. It was the music producers who were sabataging their own industry. At some point, they admitted this and said they were resolved to lower prices to more reflect the materials and energy put into the CDs. That never happened, and was the last I heard of it.
Fast forward to today. The same basic thing is happening. Greedy middle-men. There are two main factors that make people download rather than buy: cost and availability.
Most DVDs, if fairly priced, would be around $5, not $15+. There have been numerous times that, based on liking a video I downloaded, if available, I would pay for it in order to get higher quality (but not as much as they want).
In some instances, whomever owns a video simply does not want to share it with the world no matter how many want to pay for it, jet it has become part of Americana so to speak; it has become ingrained in our culture. In other instances, a video is in "moritorium", and won't be available for a long time, if ever. One example is (was) "Night Of The Comet". Was rare and hard to find; a collector's item. Now, thanks to Youtube, it's everywhere (I can find three different copies of it for download right now).
I have one external hard drive dedicated to only movies, not to mention a sizable chunk of the internal HD. I guess I must have at least 250 movies, and I'm downloading "Groundhog Day" (1080p) this very minute. This isn't even counting several hundred music videos.
So, I look at it as payback for those greedy criminals who have forced it to this in the first place. The tide has turned; someone needs to re-think they way they do business. If nothing else, free stuff is like a long overdue rebate for the over charges they have done for decades.