Re: I love the way people value music
"So, no costs for the creative ability to create the music, no cost for the actual production of the track, including time for many individuals to actual make the music, no cost for the mastering, distribution, marketing of the music."
The cost of mastering is negligible when the Internet is the medium, as is the cost of distribution. Indeed, peer-to-peer distribution has actually reduced the distribution costs, and that's in favour of content distributors. As for the other costs, technology has minimised some, and you're left with wondering whether the cost of the artists' piano/guitar lessons has been reimbursed.
"Performances make money, but not the kind of money that is possible with music sales."
But who makes that money with music sales? Ah yes, it's the middle-men, most of the time.
"It just doesn't scale. How will an artist get popular enough to fill stadiums world wide to become the million dollar artist without getting their name and music out there."
You're just parroting a cliché: the plucky, talented young artists discovered by the rookie label scout, built up by the label's expertise, unleashed to critical acclaim, and playing to sell-out venues worldwide. It's so convenient to keep repeating these clichés because then you get to define what "success" is, and then you can say how people can't be "successful" without the record labels. In short, record companies insist that record companies are relevant - with that as the best argument for their existence, the rest of us are just waiting for the garbage collector to come along.
"Also, how many artists are actually in it only for the love of the music. It's easy for somebody like Billy Brag to say how it should be because he has already built his empire."
Perhaps we should really only reward people who make music for the love of doing so, rather than throwing our cash in the direction of some "media phenomenon" invented by the labels.
"Imagine what it woudl be like without record companies promoting artists. How would you get heard above the myspace noise."
How indeed would the Britards know what to like without corporations telling them, without the tired interference of those corporations throughout broadcasting, without the effective state support of private cartels in the form of things like Radio 1 whose role is apparently to provide a free promotional gateway to the Britards under the pretence that music charts, the Top 20, the Christmas Number One are really important things that demand the utmost attention of the Britards above all other matters of state?
That's another thing I detest about the record industry: it's something that perpetuates the modern culture of the Britards with its "look here, shiny!" message and the knowledge that while the Britards lap it up, some shit is going down somewhere and everyone is too busy arguing about some media-invented non-story to notice either the shit or the act of distraction.