....there's always p2p of course, that's as free as it gets, but you get absolutely bugger all feedback as an artist, obviously!
And as a business model, 'giving away' your back catalogue actually then becomes 'embedding it on your site' where you can get traffic, sell t-shirts and cd's and high bitrate copies, whatever you need to do to pay the rent, buy food, and all the non bling stuff most artists actually need. You wanna buy bling, go jump into bed with a major label, they always need fresh meat for the grinder.
And then there's the point about non content providers hosting lots of content that someone else has spent a lifetime slaving over, and generating revenue from hosting said content via web site traffic, who then turn around and have the audacity to charge £700 a year to rent out a few tens of gigs at most on a server somewhere to allow said artist to post said material on said non-content providers content providing website! Call me a cynic if you will, you wouldn't be the first, but i smell a big fat rat here.
Beer, 'cos it's more Old School than food...