First an intern with the NPR show All Songs Considered posts this: http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2012/06/16/154863819/i-never-owned-any-music-to-begin-with
where she admits that though she has 11,000 mp3s on her computer, she’s paid for hardly any of them, but she’s feeling a little weird about that, and observes that it’ll be impossible to get people to pay for downloaded music consistently.
Then David Lowery (who cofounded the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker) posted here: http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/letter-to-emily-white-at-npr-all-songs-considered/
to discuss the ethics of that, arguing that one ought to pay for music one enjoys, not on a legal basis but on a fairness basis (but that’s an overly rough, probably inadequate summary; this is a very thoughtful, albeit long article).
There was a lot of commentary, both in the websites above as well as on Twitter and probably elsewhere. I won’t try linking to that.
Songwriter Jonathon Coulton weighs in here: http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2012/06/20/emily-and-david/
with his thoughts. I’m but halfway through at the moment but I’m enjoying the insights from the one “act” who came along in the download era who really made it work in building a music career.
I don’t know anything, myself. The idea of making money at music has been churning in my background for years, and I have no answers. These are worthy pieces of thought on the issue of fairly compensating musicians for what they do. Lengthy reading, yes, but worth investing the time.