I am of the mind that music is worthless.
Look at all the collection albums. If the music was what was valuable, collection albums wouldn't sell. People already had the music. They already heard it on the radio, or on the original CD. Why do they sell?
Because the music was always infinite, it was the method by which you could get the music that was finite. People were unable to easily make their own high-quality mixes, so they relied on the industry to make them.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead was recently quoted as saying that the recording industry was waiting to die until the CD came along. People were able to record their own tapes. CD's were higher-quality and the consumer was unable to make their own for fifteen years.
I think the recording industry has always sort of known the music was worthless, and it was the limited medium by which consumers could get the music is what was valuable. That's why they make greatest hits CD's that are missing ONE of the singles you actually want. That forces you to buy the More Greatest Hits album for that one track.
The industry actually made money by not giving you what you wanted, because for lots of artists, even the good ones, people want a playlist of their favorite tracks, which frequently involves all of the number one singles.
So the argument that the music is what is valuable is severely negated by the existence of number-1 albums and studio produced greatest hits discs.