“Kroc, I have to disagree with you here on two levels.”
That's okay. I don’t ask or require you to agree :)
“Github doesn't put it's private repos on a special "fail-less-often" disk”
That's okay. That's not what I want to pay for. I want to pay because the service is good and a free service is not self-sustaining.
“donating to youtube users is fine, but doing so because you block the ads but don't believe in getting things for free?”
I do beleive in getting things for free. I mentioned libre / gratis content. I don’t belive that ads are the "payment" (I use the term very looslely) method I want to use. I want to pay a different way.
“Your own youtube example is a good case too: by donating to the producers, you do not ensure later access to those videos”
That's not what I’m paying for. I don’t need to, or want to keep the videos. I am paying the _author_, because he deserves it. If I pay for a video, I get one video. If I pay an author, he can keep making videos.
“however, by blocking the ads you diminish youtubes revenue, increasing (however slightly) the chance those videos won't be available in the future”
I agree with you here. I do not know what the answer is to this, but I will give it my consideration.
“The users are customers too”
Go ask for a refund, see how far you get. :) You're not a customer. You have no professional, accountable relationship with these companies. You have the ability to complain--after all, an unhappy user base is not profitable--but no, it's not a right. You are using a private service, run on private servers, under an agreement you agreed to. They have no lawful requirement to listen to you what-so-ever. It is in their interest, yes, but it's not a requirement. If they lose you, they don’t care--a thousand more will sign up.
“The conclusions of what you must do from these tenets seem outrageous”
Please tell me in what way is my wanting to pay for stuff "outrageous"? If you owned a business, would you call me "outrageous" for wanting to pay you? Would you call me "outrageous" for donating to charity? To giving freely and generously?
This is not outrageous, it’s merely human :)
“What ultimately drove me to move my account however was the evolution of the greater network of Google services.”
Yeah, this is what’s killing it for me. Completely agree that it's an excellent service worth paying for, but it's everything else that's happening at Google on a broader scale that I don’t want to be a part of.