The thing niggas continue to forget about art is that its supposed to belong to EVERYONE. You can claim credit for it, but society is SUPPOSED to be able to view, critique, and reference it at will. While some people assume that we're all hereto protest in hopes of continuously attainning free s**t. Personally, I feel I shouldn't have to pay for the rights to view or access your art, especially music. As long as Im not profiting from what I attain, what complaints can you really make? You want me to pay to be your fan? If you want support and income, sell merch.
@Kick: I think there used to be a clearer distinction between view/critique/reference and distribute. I don't think its okay to distribute content you don't own (obviously not including sale of used books, etc). Like it used to be you painted a portrait and it hung on a wall somewhere and people could come view it, talk about it, paint their own version (a lot of art museums have easels so art students can come in and sketch or paint in front of the originals), etc but it would never be the same as the original. Now people post exact copies of art or music or movies online and other people download it and keep it and distribute it and that's not the same as the museum, not the library or the used bookstore or whatever.
I don't agree at all with what you said about thinking the arts should be free and only charge for merchandise. These people are artists, the art is what they do, it's what matters. That's what should have the value.