Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciatto had some comments for the popular justification for downloading music, which is going to shows and buying shirts in lieu of buying albums. A fan asked if musicians prefer an album sale to a shirt sale or concert sale and Puciatto said this in response:
They are separate. We're not forcing anyone to buy our music or our shirts. If you want one, that's separate from the other. Nobody's doing us a favor by buying our shirt after they took our album. We're not artists pandering on the side of the street hoping for someone's "charity." Ethically, taking it for free is always wrong but when you're not a household name, it hurts particularly more because every album is a greater sized fraction of the total.
If people want "alternative" art, or smaller scenes, genres, or bands to be able to exist at a professional level of quality, they should treat them professionally and intellectual property with the same respect as tangible property. There's just really no excuse for bankrupting a scene or band you're into anymore. If people care about the art that they like existing, then this attitude is important to adopt across the board.
Check out the comment here.