Hello all, as this is a very interesting subject, I'll try to contribute with my own point of view.
So most of professionals here have it clear that, in some way, their achievements are product of the collective effort of a society who payed their studies. This, for some people, is indeed a "moral debt"; and even if we all have some point of individuality, and ambition, no one lives and progresses completely on their own.
I can see the logic behind your argument. However, I do not agree with the idea that you're suggesting: "As I own my (musical) education to society, then my music should be free for all". No matter how you look at it, this "moral debt" doesn't justify piracy. Your ideas remind me eerily of Marx, as the concept that your work is for the society as a whole, and not for you, (non-existence of private property) is one of the main ideas of classic comunism. Of course, our education is paid by other persons, but the so called "moral debt" is an illusion, as we too pay for other people's education, thus creating the necessary cycle (and without the necessity of giving up the fruits of our hard work).
Besides, I wouldn't underestimate the market, surely they'll find someway to solve this "piracy" problem and keep making money.
I agree with you, but again, this doesn't justify piracy. It's not fair to consider that "Even if it's wrong, it will be solved, so I'll do it anyway". Sure, the market will grow two more heads if this one is cut off, but that doesn't mean that the two new heads (DRM, anyone?) are going to be fairer than the old one.
Hey guys, I've been lurking here for years, but it took a topic completely unrelated to Star Wars to get me to post :D
Sorry that this is totally off-topic.
I've been a DIY musician for five years now (used to play in bands before that, but we never distributed our music), and would never dare ask for any money for my releases. All of my music is free to download and will always BE free to download. I bring 50 CD's to each of my free shows and pass them out for free to anybody who wants them, and I sometimes leave stacks of them at record stores.
This attitude is not uncommon for newer musicians. I think the days of these mega stars who make millions are numbered. A lot of DIY musicians think free online distribution is the way of the future. As it becomes easier and easier to record from your home, the aura of the rock star will fade (not altogether, mind you) and the people who create and release music will be people who truly have a passion for making music, and not for fame/money/sex.
There are so many netlabels out there releasing music for free, it's not even funny. I don't even bother to listen to commercial music anymore, because it's just not necessary. Actually, to keep this Star Wars related, here's a pay-what-you-want (even $0) album by IG88 ;) http://ig88.bandcamp.com/album/mutual-mastication
What I'm getting at, is that even musicians themselves don't believe you have to make money from music.
PS: Hey Zombie! Loved the book!