After reading all db90h's posts, I have to agree that it could disrupt the market. Often in a negative way. I am on both sides of the barricade, having both - free and paid apps.
It is my opinion, the biggest problem is that there is a skewed measure of value of a software. Value (as benefits/expenses) of freeware is often perceived as infinite and thus intrinsically higher than any the paid app's value. Google rankings of freeware apps are insane. I would you expect to see photoshop to be #1 when searching for "image editor" - it is #16 - on the second page that none visit. Is Photoshop's value so low or is Google a "bit" wrong?
There is no authority source of software value. The software directories have failed miserably in delivering the users an unbiased measure of software value. They are full of ads, some of them are charging unreasonable prices for a bland review, they are outdated. The social ones are not much better. They only reflect the popularity of a software, not its value.
There are of course indirect costs associated with a freeware. Users must invest time in learning the software. The computer uses electricity, users spend time working with software. If a freeware gets the job done in twice the time, when does a paid app break even? When does a paid app break even when you count in that you have to re-learn how to use yet another free app, because the old one died? Very few think about this.
There is no free lunch, just an illusion of one. But what can we do? I see no solution. I would just wish, it would not be embarrassing to answer when someone asks me how much money I am making from my shareware or freeware apps.
BTW db90h fairware success motivated me do one thing I wanted for some time: making the donations public so that everyone can see them.