They (artists) are able to get their music out without having to have a record contract. For anyone who wants to get off the hook to record companies, this is a miracle.
What Prince is doing with his last record is really fascinating (giving out copies at concerts, writing the price into the ticket, and having them count as record sales). It shows how irrelevant the chart system is going to be.
The record companies had a choice to be proactive a few years ago, or hang on to their death-hold on the business.
(just use BugMeNot to bypass brainless registartion)
In light of how clueless the Canada ( Canadian RIAA calls for stronger copyright measures than in the US) and USA (Induce No More) Recording Industry continues to be, they will hopfully die off soon, before they clear cut the culture.