Mises published a new article on their website about the market function of piracy:
In marketing the most effective way to introduce new products is the free sample. In 1978 Lever Brothers spent $15 million ($47.55 million in today's currency) delivering a free sample of Signal Mouthwash to two-thirds of all US households. The strategy was a success and the product remained on the market well into the 1990s.
The significance of the free sample is product trial; it gets the product into consumers' hands. If consumers use the sample and like it, they may go on to buy the product and buy it again and again, that is, become repeat purchasers; they may even spread the good word to others. When repeat purchasing and favorable word of mouth kick in, the product's sales will experience a shift from slow to rapid growth and management will consider the product a success.