Some interesting points are being made about Podcasting and distributing/broadcasting music by major label recording artists. Doc doesn’t want to see Podcasting pigeonholed as Internet Radio, as Chris so accurately pegs it, because he doesn’t want to see podcasters nailed with the licensing requirements faced by streaming radio. Adam more responsibly suggests Podcasters should be paying ASCAP/BMI to make sure the songwriters are getting paid for performances, as they should. Derek goes on to point out that podcasting is, in fact, distribution of the audio, not unlike offering the song for individual download. Ultimately, some of this confusion could be solved with a blanket agreement allowing podcasters pay a flat fee to include copyrighted materials in their distributions (and for that matter, if P2P sharers want to pay the same fee, it could indemnify their sharing as well).
In the near term, a smarter solution would be to stop including content you don’t have the rights to in your podcasts. Anyone can parrot mainstream radio and serve up pop music from the major labels. It takes talent to find a diamond in the rough and introduce an audience to the unknown gem. I’ve been there. I once lost $50 promoting a show with System of a Down and Incubus on the same bill; a month later and I probably would have made a few thousand dollars.
There are a great many outstanding bands without major label deals who would love to have the exposure. Podcasters would be doing their listeners a service, by pointing out great music currently flying under the radar of the average music lover. Adam Curry already noted that at least one of his listeners purchased some Frank Sinatra tracks after hearing Ole’ Blue Eyes in the Daily Source Code. As one of the people who introduced me to a great deal of music during my youth, Adam could be the obvious choice for taking this new distribution model and making it a ground breaking force for finding great new music.