No one — NO ONE!—is worthy of respect for their own disrespect for the principle of copyright (in fact, more than a principle, it’s a federal law) and the prerogative of every artist to earn revenue from the use of the intellectual property they create — and own. That includes anyone who is ignorant of those laws and prerogatives and who cavalierly allows their own intellectual property to be so abused. The moral harm is still done.
If the creators of any works steadfastly defend their right to freely promulgate them without compensation, to show the world what wonderful artists they are, hoping to get future work, I will defend your right to do so. I will defend anyone’s right to be stupid; and, at the same time, offer you shares of stock in the bridge I have for sale in Brooklyn. If you set your price as FREE, that’s your price. It will remain your price. That’s all your work will be considered to be worth.
Anyone who stands to benefit, irrespective of how they may expect to benefit, or even if they actually derive any benefit by allowing their own works to be misappropriated and used by third parties deserves the contempt of the entire community of artists worldwide, full stop.