My thinking seems to follow what CWuestefeld just said. If all the content industries collapsed tonight we'd still wake up tomorrow with an endless supply of creative content being produced. Open source proves that would be the case, money is not the only motivation behind creativity.
Sure the entitled generation is a bad thing. And I agree yes that priacy is stealing. But if we get realistic for a moment it's naive to let those pesky moral issues come into play when the 'industries' were talking about really are just capitalist greed machines.
The truth is that there was music long before there was the RIAA, MP3's, CD's, cassettes, vinyl, radio, or even money. And there will always be music, no matter what happens.
There have always been people making music solely for the joy it gives them, and then sharing that music to share their joy with others.
The RIAA is an octopus that strangles music from every direction and in every way that it can.
If you think the consumer is the only one being strangled (with DRM, proprietary formats, etc) you are wrong...dead wrong. They are strangling the artists just as much (maybe more), and in the process, they are destroying the music.
Even if the RIAA decided tomorrow to give in and give the consumer what they want (no DRM, lossless quality, etc.), and all for free, I still won't touch it.
Yes, some of us do have a sense of entitlement, and I feel I am entitled to quality music that doesn't compromise the creator's artistic integrity.
I don't want music where the artist must churn out enough stuff on the label's schedule, to fulfill contractual obligations that state they have to have a certain number of albums within a certain number of years, and then spending all their time between albums touring to promote it, as well. This leads to artists loading albums with filler crap in between the 1 or 2 good songs they have. And it burns them out. Ever wonder why so many of the great ones died from drug overdoses? Maybe this was a big contributing factor.
And I don't want to listen to stuff released by labels that decide who can & can't make an album, based solely on what crap they think the teens of today want to hear.
I'll stick with the truly free stuff...where the artists are free. They can make the music the way they want, take as long as they need, and release it when they are ready and not when some label says so. I don't mind supporting that.
Since giving up most of the RIAA produced crap, I have discovered a ton of wonderful stuff, been exposed to genres I never even knew existed because they never get played on the radio, and actually talked to and became friends with some of the artists that make the music I now love.
And I have a lot of respect for artists that choose to give their stuff away for free. They don't have to do that. But because they do, it means that nobody ever has to think of stealing music/money from the artists/labels that choose not to, and they don't have to put up with any of the RIAA's crap.
There are alternatives.