I've read your words, and I agree with you, I really do. I also think that record labels are getting more and more desperate, and they're are screwing music lovers more and more. I agree that "Year Zero" is way to expensive, and I agree with the fact that Interscope Records, ownerd by Universal Music Group, don't give a damn about their artists and their artists fans - those who give them money. Oh, and the concept of MAXI-singles? You're right, it's completely bullshit, a product designed to extort more money from those wanting to get access to art.
The point is, you say that you're trying your best to make sure the products that NIN puts in the marketplace are worth purchasing, but you're failing miserably. Why? Well, while I really think it's awsome (and having the label you have you surely show you also have balls) all the Year Zero's concept and the whole world built around it, awsome that you're going to give for free to your fans, one way or another, all Year Zero's songs, and I really think you understand that goes inside the mind of your fans... You criticize your record label, but you're still sticking with them. For me, any product you put in the marketplace under Interscope aren't worth buying, even for one cent. It's plain simple, I don't support Universal in any way, so I don't give them money, while you criticize them but still put money in their pockets. Those guys don't consider your work as art, but as products, and they don't give a damn about you or your fans, they only care about profit. That's way too obvious when you know that they want to minimize consumers freedoms to maximize their profit. I'm sorry, but being signed with a major, the message you're passing is that, while you don't like your label's attitude, you prefer dealing with it and make more money than being nice to your fans.
Are you really against Interscope and Universal as you look like? Please, do a favor to your fans (and yourself): go indie. You'll even sleep better.