Throughout all of this I see the same basic statement repeated constantly, "The record labels haven't adapted to technological changes at all or fast enough.". I would contend that this is patently and demonstrably false, and I'll illustrate it in a moment, but what I want to know is this - what do YOU think is the answer that provides for the artist getting paid, and I'm not talking pie in the sky "do it like Radiohead did" because that won't work for 99% of bands. Unlike other posts, I'm going to filter out the nonsense rants because I want a productive discussion.
Here is how the labels have changed with technological changes:
Went from 8 Track to Cassette (this might seem minor to you, but I had a big collection of 8 tracks)
Went from Vinyl and Cassette to CD
Adopted online sales, Amazon spearheaded a lot of this
Adopted digital distribution once a method was available (iTunes)
Adopted listening stations at record outlets
Embraced social networking like MySpace and YouTube
Keep in mind how fast some of this stuff came up, 2 years ago no one was talking about YouTube and MySpace was pretty minor. You can't just follow every shiny ball that rolls by, you have to see what is going to shake out and make the best business decision you can.