Companies like Valve, granted they started some time ago, are entirley self-funded and are pretty huge now.
Because they make an absolute killing from Steam. If Valve continued as they did now without Steam, they'd have filed for bankruptcy years ago, and their early successes haven't been self-made. They had publishers supporting them (largely Sierra) and the PC gaming community via Counter-Strike, which itself was originally a mod that they somehow acquired and turned into a product.[/quote]
Not sure about them filing for bankruptcy, their existing game lineup was pretty well established. It's arguable that they've become an on-line publisher of sorts now, that things are sold over Steam. however I think it's vastly more accessible than the traditional high-street store option and can give very very small companies a chance to get started. It's a Good Thing, and a real step in the right direction. One wonders if netflix could go in a similar way.
You could equally well say that it's not a crime to steal from Tesco's whereas it is a crime to steal from a little old lady. Try telling that to the judge.
Oh I know it's not legal, but I'm increasingly feeling, as social inequality becomes greater and greater, that really the law is very divorced from ethics when it comes to elements of greed and equality.