I know I would prefer to use the TechDirt comment system as opposed to the ads. I use AdBlock instead of a hosts file so turning off ads on a specific page isn't that difficult for me. I'm just used to the TechDirt system and it makes more sense from my perspective to keep things consistent.
Also, artists do not have a "right" to compensation, only an opportunity. One that AC/DC is not taking full advantage of by refusing to offer what it is they're selling in a form their potential customers like.
I think the "first rights" idea comes into play as you get an established based going. If you've built up a fanbase, there's definitely merit in getting something first.
For example, if anybody can print the book after it's out, there's an advantage in being the first one out of the gate. You get the first mover advantage so that your books are the ones on the shelves, your cover art is recognized, and the others (while equally free to be made) look more like knockoffs. I think that might be a direction things are going, with publishers and labels competing for who gets first dibs on a new work as opposed to forcing the creator to give up all monopoly rights.
First also plays into the Kickstarter model, where donors or top-level contributors might get an early peak or advance copy of the book.
That if you're making art with the right mindset, you will start looking to provide reasons for potential customers to support you financially rather than demanding that you get a paycheck.
Sometimes that's as simple as putting out a quality product at a reasonable price. Other times it involves fun promotions (See: TF2 hats) or more risky experiments (See: Humble Indie Bundle). Regardless, somebody making art instead of "product" who would like to make money from it is in the same place with or without the so-called protections provided by copyright, and is better off ignoring them and simply focusing on creating great stuff people would be willing to buy.
I think there's room in the MMO space for a model like this. It's potentially a way to take on WoW while still charging a monthly fee - give the client away so everybody tries it, then charge to continue playing or for extra features.
I guess some of the MMOs have switched to a model like this (LotRO, DnDO) and are doing pretty well.
Also, businesses don't get to simply "declare" a business model, and then have it work. If you business model is, "we've got to stop all this piracy first, and then our business model will work fine," you need a new model.
Let's work to build and adopt business models that work now, with things the way they are.
Indeed, it's a real trade-off. Either the class is too big or professors don't want to take the time to hand-grade written tests, so they go with multiple choice/Scantron formats. The best way to prepare for those kinds of tests is by going over old questions, which is what smart students are going to do.
This always bothers me. The point of school is to learn the material, not follow arbitrary rules set up by the professor. If doing something helps you learn the material better, it should be allowed - regardless of what the professor thinks.