Now, to make it worse, you tell us that we should pay the record companies so they can pay the artist so they can pay some of it back to pay for the promotional material and adverts!
That is exactly what happens. I have no love of record companies, at least the larger labels, and am glad that many musicians are fighting back with the vehicle of self-promotion. Buying a CD bar-code is not expensive. If a person self -promotes he can begin breaking even, often after just 5,000 CD sales. If they do this however, and their music continues to be stolen, it will damage them even more personally and financially than is happening at present. All I can say is there is now a whole generation of people out there who think music comes free, and in the final event that can only damage musicians and the art of music.
As to playing live, well this works very well for the big stars who are rich anyway from record sales anyway, but most musicians do not fall into this league. There are only so many venues that can be played on the road before fatigue sets in, and clearing $500 per night after expenses is not exactly the American Dream...lol