Independent musicians have a tough row to hoe. If you don't want to get involved with the RIAA, how can you support yourself? James Kochalka (aka "Superstar") fights the good fight by having a subscription comic (Fancy Froglin), a site on MP3.com, and selling his books on Amazon. I imagine he's not going to get rich any time soon, but I think this is the future for musicians: leveraging as many free or low-cost online resources as possible to reach a "global" market. I believe within 5 years, some band or musician will explode onto the music scene without a traditional label backing them. That will scare record execs far more than Napster ever did.
And I'll laugh.
Speaking of laughing, listen to my cover of James' "Monkey vs. Robot".
Also check out James' I Orbit You, a song constructed from the muzak of various NES video games.
UPDATE: Here's what James had to say about my cover:
That's pretty funny! The ending is especially great with all the samples. I'm going to post your link on my site.
Indies unite! Oh wait a minute...