0. Preface: copyright is something we've created as a abstract to help artists sell their creations, as we've figured that being able to profit better from music (and other arts, but I will limit the scope of this text to music), promotes creation. Until very recently there was nothing like copyright and for at least a couple of centuries the system worked without it. More so, artists are still able to profit on things that were profitable then (live performances, tunes ordered by rich people for their own pleasure, et al.) and the advances in technology and such created additional opportunities -- advertising is the most obvious one, but also movie music, radio jingles, and such. Therefore the system can most probably be reverted to abadon copyright, or to limit it, and musicians would still be able to make money.
1. Copyright was established to promote arts and creativity, and companies should only own copyrights if it serves this purporse. Do MDCs (Music Distribution Companies) owning copyrights promote arts and creativity?
2. Current system emphasises the division between "big artists" who signed with (or were created by) big MDCs, and "small artists" who signed with small, "independent" MDCs or didn't sign at all. The former are usually rich, the latter are usually not (I'm assuming succesfull artists, unsuccesfull artists are poor by definition). It is of course subject to a discussion if equality is good, but if we assume it is, current system promotes unequality.
3. If MDC are cut down to doing what they were supposed to do (music distribution, for a fee), it promotes equality of opportunity, because it's the artist's choice if he want's to promote himself or not, and in what ways. Artists would not be made to change their creations by some marketing "specialists" (although some of the artists would change their music to appeal to common taste to sell more records, as it is today).
4. There's no problem with MDCs not being able to profit above the promotional (and other) expenses, as the costs of promotion would be paid for by artists (or their sponsors, or investors).
5. Artists would be able to try and find an investor, who -- for a portion of the profits from the album -- could pay for the studio, touring bus, et al. They (artists) would also be able to look for a sponsor, who would pay for the expenses in exchange for a song written in their name, or for a banner visible on every live performance of the artist, or just for the sake of it.
6. The focus (and wealth) could be pushed from hugely popular "stars" created by MDCs, to "middle-class" musicians, promoting equality within them.
7. It is very possible, that more music would be created and distributed, as it would be easier for an artist to promote his creations, without having to go thru the MDC's filter, which kills-off most of the avantgarde and original music.
8. Creativity is not promoted by making musicians do the same things over and over. Creativity is also not promoted by distributing huge ammounts of money between 10-20 most popular bands. Creativity is promoted by making it able for more and more people to live off creating music, that is, if more and more people create new music, creativity is promoted.
9. Big MDCs will always try to create a situation where the least ammount of bans create the most of revenue, because the economy of scale proves this situation more profitable for the MDC. Therefore they promote the situation where less and less people are able to live off creating music, therefore they don't promote creativity.
10. As mentioned in , copyright was established to promote arts and creativity. As MDC owning copyright doesn't promote creativity, they should not own copyright.
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins