You're forgetting about the many other uses of music that do not, as such, require the physicality you describe: to draw listeners to your radio station so you can charge for advertising based on listenership; to affect customers' mood in a retail environment (supermarket, bar, hairdresser, disco); to create/ enhance atmosphere and mood on film or TV (adverts, documentaries etc.); to sample and re use in your music for the purposes of fun and profit
All good points. On the other hand, the copyright practices for media soundtrack music and, in many cases, for environmental music, don't always directly protect the income of the artist. In fact, in most cases, soundtrack composers work as employees of the media company, with no more rights to the composition than the consumer who listens to the music or who buys the soundtrack CD. There are exceptions, of course.
Another good point, that I think a lot of people miss. Copyright doesn't just protect the assets of greedy, evil corporations; it protects we individuals from them, and their [mis]use of work we've created. And copyright plays a key role in modern systems where artists are able to interact commercially, directly with their audience, without the need for co-opting, corporate fat-cats to get involved.
True, but I personally
think that rights of attribution and integrity (what are called "moral rights" in the Commonwealth") are a different issue than the right of financial compensation for the performance and/or reproduction of a work, though they are both subsets of copyright.
The bottom line for me is that "creators' rights" are historical. They define the creator/artist rather than the other way around, and they are expressions of the technological capacity and economic relations of a given historical moment. It's worth asking whether a 21st century creator/artist in an age of digital re/production and distribution is helped or hindered by a legal regime produced by different technological and economic conditions.
[This is a very thought-provoking thread, BTW, I'm learning a lot here.]