"Ultimately, the only way for a professional musician to make money in your free downloads for-all economy, is to join a function band.
Is that *really* what you want?"
I see you've missed my point. There will always be a demand for contemporary music and since we live in capitalist times people will be able to earn a living from it. I was merely stating that the current system might be forced to change, due to technology. How do you think hard-backed encyclopaedia sales have been since the introduction of the internet? What about all those poor horse-drawn cart makers after cars hit the market? Technology generates wealth, but at the same time, inevitably and beautifully, culls those businesses involved in the "old way" of doing things. Just because one group has managed to exploit a particular market for generations does NOT give them the right to that market in perpetuity. Think of it another way - those involved in the record industry should be f-ing grateful that they've been able to make so much money, so easily for so long. If they lack the innovation to compete in the modern market then I'm sorry but it's good riddance. Survival of the fittest and all that.
Who knows, artists that struggle under the current model for music distribution might even find things easier in the next one?