hey lash, it's an interesting argument that you pose, but you're adhering to this misplaced sense of entitlement that seems to be at the core of the issue.
the administrator of this blog states in his original response to me that approximately 99 people have downloaded my album from this site.
in a pressing of 1000 copies, that represents a significant percentage of the entire run, and a substantial loss of potential income for me personally, not to mention for the guys at the label that released that album - oh, by the way, that label went defunct because they could no longer afford to pay for cd pressings. it's a simple issue of cause and effect.
your example regarding this idea of spending thousands on modular synths and fancy high-end plugins is also misplaced in this particular instance, because neither myself nor tim (mr. electric) have done anything of the sort. my 'studio' is an extremely modest collection of gear acquired over the past twelve years, and in all likelihood wouldn't garner me much more than a thousand dollars if i were to put every single thing on ebay. when i started, i was using borrowed effects units and a broken 4 track, and assorted improvised equipment, which i replaced over the course of a decade as i became more adept at the production of my material.
as far as your statement, 'nobody owes you anything,' if you provide me with tangible goods or services and i refuse to pay you for them on the basis that i believe it should be free, would you call that stealing? would you take me to court, or try to have me arrested? would you tell your employer that you don't need your paychecks anymore and that you'd like to work for free, because they don't owe you anything?
if you don't get paid, you quit your job. you can't afford to work for free. if they don't pay you, you can't pay your bills, you can't eat, you can't buy gas or pay for public transportation in order to get to your job. you can't produce what your employer wants you to produce if they don't pay you. totally independent artists, and their small labels run from out of bedrooms and basements and garages can't produce what the fans want them to produce if every album they put out gets posted on blogs and torrent sites for free within weeks of their release. cause and effect.