Billboard's Antony Bruno wrote an April 25 column called "No Distribution Without Compensation" (yes, I did pay for my subscription, thank you very much), talking about the state of the publishing business. Since that column was written, a few more businesses have bitten the dust, including a couple of important newspapers, magazines and trade publications.

The publishing business (which includes music, books and newsprint), along with the media and broadcast business (radio, film and TV) are all in the same boat. The creative destruction of these businesses, powered by the Internet, is our 21st-century version of the Gutenberg revolution. Add the hockey stick effect of technology (which I would argue is just ramping up), throw in a little economic downturn, and it's no wonder everyone is befuddled.

Clay Shirky wrote a great article March 13 on Shirky.com called "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable" that described a conversation he had in 1993 with his boss at the New York Times, in which his boss quipped, "When a 14-year-old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you, but because he loves you, then you've got a problem." Sound familiar? Shawn Fanning created Napster because he was a fan . . . and we treated him, and his 60 million friends, as foes.

Don't get me wrong...

Click here for Mark Montgomery's full opinion piece which includes his thoughts on how artists should navigate the digital marketplace, how the music industry will evolve and more.