If we take the basic empirical approach, then there is no debate whatsoever -- ideas cannot be property. Period. You can only have exclusive access to an idea if you never share/reveal it. But even then, someone else might think of the same idea... History is full of these kinds of things, e.g. Calculus with Liebniz and Descartes, even though it was known elsewhere centuries before.
While it is true that anything that you say or do that is not obfuscated in some manner cannot be owned, where does this leave the creative side of things? If you take the money grubbing out, and leave out the non-personal aspect of the corporations, and get back to the very basics as my example above... where is it right or fair that someone who creates this idea and does all of the work on it loses it just because they want to share what they did with the world?
If I create something with my writing that inspires others, then that's a great thing. But if someone takes my characters to make a profit off of those characters that I create, then in what place is that fair? And is the only choice give it away or keep it to yourself?
You're absolutely right. I don't really have a good answer.
For musicians... live shows? Seems to work for quite a few bands.
For authors... seminars? Not sure if this can work for many though.
For software authors? Simple. Licensing. (I do NOT want to use "DRM" in this context as many/most software authors are nowhere near the draconian <insert profanity here /> that the media mafia are.)
For graphic artists, sculptors, etc... Still tough... Put it out there and get people to commission works? It worked in the past (hundreds of years ago). Not sure if it can work now or not.
At some level, all artists can get paid for commissioned works. Be that painting, music, web sites, graphics, software, or whatever. However, that also puts it out of reach for most people. For that, I think eliminating a fiat currency that has no value would be a good start. But all that really runs off in a different direction, although strongly related. e.g. Imagine a world where people actually have wealth and it isn't stolen by bankers through usury. (Remember, interest is geometric -- and there's no way around it unless you want to disbelieve in mathematics.)
I don't want to claim that any of the above are real solutions to the problem.
What I would like to suggest is that perhaps "the problem" is how we view it.
I suppose that one thing I've missed through all of this is commercial piracy. I've really only considered personal level piracy. I do view them as fundamentally different.
But I don't have any concrete answers at the moment.
I suppose that the best place to start is with our own attitudes, and I think I've addressed a good amount there, or at least enough to get started.