That's a real big scoop of nope, y'all. It's WORK to create art. It takes MONTHS to write a book. A good book, that is. And authors need to be compensated for that. It's bad enough that advances are down or non-existent. Small publishers offer a higher rate of royalty in compensation for not offering that advance. It's a nice idea, except if the small press can't market, your compensation drops. You're never offered 50%, by the way. And if you have an agent--which you should--they take their 10% off the top.
Full disclosure, I'm a hybrid author; I'm traditionally published by a big New York publisher, a medium size publisher, and two small publishers, as well as self-publishing my backlist of reverted rights works, and new fiction. Having a variety like that kept me going for a long time, but everything loses momentum eventually, especially the older they get.
This article talks about how consumers have begun to feel entitled to books. For free. Hey, it's on the internet so it must be free, right? NO. It isn't. So when you buy a book at a thrift shop, or second hand on Amazon, or off a pirated site, that author gets nothing. Nada. Zippo. Zilch for that purchase or download. And the more that happens, the fewer books you'll get from your supposedly favorite author. It's the same as sneaking into a movie, or sneaking in under the rope to your favorite band's concert...or grabbing it from a shelf at your local bookstore and running out of the shop without paying. Yeah. It is that.
Think it won't happen? Look here.
Buy NEW books. Get them from libraries or ask your librarian to get a book (that's a sale to the writer, and a good one. If a library system buys several copies for all their branches, that's a huge win for an author). All food for thought for you readers and writers out there.