Set Digital Music Free
Doesn't this work under the (I believe incorrect) assumption that the only reason to make music in the first place is to make money? IMO, this is why most commercial music sucks, because instead of doing something interesting, they decide to tow the line, sell out and play the same crap I heard on the radio yesterday (and the day before, and the day before...)
Not all bands make music to make money or get a following. There is a thriving college music scene out there, which actually came out of the commercial alternative radio era stronger than before those stations existed (mainly ebcause awful bands like Bush were relegated to commercial alternative and were not touched by college radio at all.) I think the best example of this is the band Pavement (you may remember the one or two times MTV played "Cut Your Hair.") In the early 90s, no one knew who pavement was. They were releasing 7"s on Drag City records and recording in their drummer's recording studio. (They had a deal where the drummer, Gary Young, could be in the band if he would let Pavement's other two members--Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs--record for free.) After a while Pavement got really popular and created a real buzz with people who weren't a part of the scene, and pretty soon the majors came a callin'. Gary Young, who was the quintessential music sell out begged Malkmus and Spiral Stairs to sign with a major, but they refused. In their minds, THEY were Pavement and they weren't going to let a major label compromise their artistic integrity (something that Drag City would never do.)Instead, the signed with Matador records, who was able to distribute their records better than Drag City could at the time. Later on, Matador signed a huge distro deal with Capitol records. When Pavement was offered Capitol's resources for distribution, again they refused. (And in fact, the deal sucked so bad for Matador that they eventually opted out of it as well.)
The point is, there are many bands and labels out there who don't put out music as a means of putting dinner on the table. These people have real 40 hour a week jobs and make music because they enjoy doing it. They don't want fame, adulation or monetary success...they just want to play.
So if any band complains that Napster, Gnutella, etc. is screwing them out of compensation for their "art" (*cough*Metallica*cough*) they they are SELL OUTS. Plain and simple.