As Dean reminded me in a whimsical email the other day, people pay ludicrously inflated prices for water.
Free downloading doesn’t spell the end of payment-for-creativity. It changes the marketplace — but observe that it’s the oligopolists who still make money from selling water.
There is and will continue to be a viable business in the packaging and distribution of movies, music, books, whatever. “Viable,” that is, for operators perceptive and nimble enough to negotiate the change in the ecology of commerce.