Horrible industry imho when you have to give away things for free just to be competitive. I just don't get why people would expect software to be free.
We provide the best Platform (as a Service) to run Scrapy or Portia spiders, and will soon be supporting most standard web scraping technologies. This is free for light users, but we charge for people who need extra or dedicated computing or network resources.
We also provide help to startups or enterprise orgs looking to get help in building a web data harvesting system (more than just parsing pages!), either by building it ourselves or by helping our partners train their engineers in using our technologies.
This has worked so far, and we're very healthy from a revenue perspective – more than doubling every year for a few years now, and good enough to grow to become the largest fully distributed company outside of the US.
We're pretty happy with being a brand that gives to the community, it tends to get repaid 10x in the long run.