by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 16th 2013 7:38am
by Glyn Moody
Wed, May 15th 2013 12:02am
from the same-old-same-old dept
The UK's new orphan works legislation allows works to be classed as orphans only after a "diligent search" has been conducted to find the owner. The fear expressed by some is that this "diligent" search won't be very diligent, allowing publishers to use materials that aren't orphans. That's actually wrong for a number of reasons, as Techdirt explained recently, but the continuing furor from photographers in particular has been such that the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) felt compelled to issue a document entitled "The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 –Your photos and you" (pdf) explaining how the system would work, and why the fears were unjustified.
However, that document still does not answer the central question of what "diligent" will mean. A post on Out-Law.com provides some information about how this will be addressed:
"The 'diligent search' requirement will be defined through a working group so that it can reflect current best practice across all sectors," a spokesperson for the IPO told Out-Law.com. "This will make sure that any requirements are practical and manageable. The working group will include representation from creators, including the photography sectors, and users such as museums and archives."
Reading that made me wonder who exactly was on this working group, so I contacted the IPO's press office asking for details. Here's the list of organizations they kindly sent me:
Society of London Theatre and Theatrical Management Association
There are two things that struck me about that list. One is the appearance of Stop 43, probably the most vociferous of the photographer groups that have been complaining about the new orphan works law. Let's hope that its presence here, and thus its ability to contribute to the definition of "diligent", means that it drops the rhetoric about how the UK government has "reversed the normal workings of copyright," when that's simply not the case.
BBC Publishers Content Forum
National Museum Directors' Council (NMDC)
Copyright Licensing Agency
Creators Rights Alliance
British Association of Picture Libraries & Archives
British Equity Collecting Society
Authors Licensing & Collecting Society
The National Archives
Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance
The Association of Photographers
British Screen Advisory Council
Publishers Licensing Society
The Association of Illustrators
Society of Authors
Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television
Association of Authors Agents
The other thing is that in contrast to the two groups representing photographers, there is not a single advocate for the somewhat more populous general public. Of course, that's absolutely par for the course: the public is routinely overlooked whenever it comes to asking "stakeholders" what they think about proposed changes to copyright. The UK's welcome move to liberate hostage works at last would have been the perfect opportunity to break yet more new ground by engaging directly with groups representing the 60 million people whose views are never properly considered. Sadly, that seems not to be happening.
by Glyn Moody
Tue, May 14th 2013 7:42am
from the how-many-times-does-it-have-to-be-said? dept
If there's one clear trend that has emerged in recent years, it's that those who download and share unauthorized copies of files the most also tend to be the most avid purchasers of similar material. This completely negates the copyright industry's rhetoric that people who share files are just a bunch of freeloaders, suggesting instead that it's more a matter of sampling materials before going on to buy. It also implies that instead of seeking to punish such downloaders, the copyright companies should actually try to nurture them as potentially their best customers.
Even worse for the maximalists is that much of the new research revealing this trend is being conducted not by groups wearing eye patches and sporting wooden legs, but by government bodies keen to better understand the underlying dynamics of the online world. We wrote about one such study back in November, which had been commissioned by the UK regulatory body Ofcom -- the epitome of dull respectability. A follow-up report with the ponderous title "Online copyright infringement tracker benchmark study 'Deep Dive' analysis report" (pdf) has now appeared offering additional insights into why people download and stream unauthorized copies, how much they spend anyway, and what might encourage them to spend even more. The large sample size -- over 10,000 people -- makes its findings particularly valuable.
Here's one of the key results:
The Top 10% Infringers accounted for just 1.6% of the 12+ internet user population, but were responsible for 79% of infringed content. The Top 20% infringers, accounting for 3.2% of 12+ internet users, were responsible for 88% of infringements.
As mentioned above, by now this is pretty much as expected, since survey after survey shows the same. But the current research explores a number of other aspects in greater depth, and presents new results we've not seen before. For example, in answer to the question "what would make you stop downloading or streaming content illegally?", the top answers by those downloading and spending the most were in the following order:
Despite their high levels of infringement, the Top 20% Infringers also accounted for 11% of the legal content consumed. The Top 20% Infringers also spent significantly more across all content types on average than either the Bottom 80% Infringers or the non-infringing consumers (£168 [$250] vs. £105 [$160] vs. £54 [$83] over the six month period covered).
If legal services were cheaper
As that makes clear, the main obstacles stopping them spending even more is unreasonable pricing and lack of availability -- things that the copyright world is still dragging its feet over.
If everything I wanted was available legally
If legal services were more convenient\flexible
If everything I wanted was available legally online as soon as it was released elsewhere
If it is clearer what is legal and what isn't
If legal services were better
If a subscription I was interested in became available
The new analysis also tries to break down those accessing unauthorized copies into four broad categories that reflect their different attitudes. These are:
1. Justifying Infringers (9% of infringers, 24% of infringed volume, 2% of total digital consumers)
It's well worth reading the full report to see what the detailed analysis reveals about each of them. The research also tries to understand the different kinds of users who always access authorized copies, both paid and free, and then compares them in a variety of ways with the other group.
2. Digital Transgressors (9% of infringers, 22% of infringed volume, 2% of total digital consumers)
3. Free Infringers (42% of infringers, 35% of infringed volume, 10% of total digital consumers)
4. Ambiguous Infringers (39% of infringers, 20% of infringed volume, 9% of total digital consumers)
All-in-all, this is a valuable contribution to the field, and Ofcom is to be congratulated for continuing to commission innovative research that tries to get beyond the simplistic statistics that have hitherto been used to justifying ever-harsher punishments, in order to understand how the interests of both public and creators can be better aligned for their mutual benefit.
Thu, May 2nd 2013 5:26am
from the the-way-forward dept
If you would believe the UK government, there are two types of people. In the one category, you have law abiding citizens whose every movement, communication and social network activity must be monitored and digitally analyzed to keep them at bay, for their own good. In the other category, you have murderers, pedophiles and terrorists. If you object to belonging to the first category, you must therefore be part of the other, or at least a partner in crime of the scoundrels identified in category two. This would be so according to the unbelievably backward rhetoric of parts of the UK government not too long ago. To make sure society runs smoothly, the government devised the Communication Data Bill, aka. “Snooper’s Charter”, which would enable mass surveillance of digital communications.
As Glyn Moody noted, the Snooper’s Charter has been declared effectively dead after Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg announced his party would not support the Bill after some heavy scrutiny by two critical parliamentary committees. The debate on digital surveillance is far from over, however, as several sectors of law enforcement will continue to push for ubiquitous interception, because it is ‘useful’. Of course, conveniently forgetting about proportionality when dreaming up laws to use or control digital technology has become an all too common thread worldwide.
The UK Open Rights Group, an EFF sister organization, has released a report and a series of particularly funny videos to put an end to the Snooper’s Charter, and also to inform policy makers and the public at large about how the discussion about digital surveillance should be held (disclaimer: I helped compile this report).
In the report, twelve experts from different fields explain clearly how and why digital surveillance has come about, what its intent is, and why mass surveillance such as that proposed by the Snooper’s Charter is probably the worst possible next step to take, considering the ability of current technology to effectively monitor everyone and everything.
Journalist and surveillance expert Duncan Campbell puts the Snooper's Charter in historical perspective and explains:
“The manner in which the new Bill has been introduced and managed, fall full square within long British historical precedents that position privacy rights as an irritant to be managed by a combination of concealment, secrecy, information management, and misinformation.”One of the most notable features of the Snooper’s Charter is the de facto centralized search engine – or “Filter” – which scours several public and private datasets to analyze communications in-depth. Cambridge University computer scientist Richard Clayton explains:
“It is fundamentally inherent to this proposal that Filter data should be collected on everyone’s activity and that this data should be made available en masse from the private companies, the Internet Services Providers and telephone companies that provide services, to government systems for the correlation processing.”Information privacy rights advocate Caspar Bowden does not mince any words:
“It ought to be obvious that continuously recording the pattern of interactions of every online social relationship, and analyzing them with the “Filter”, is simply tyrannical.”Rachel Robinson from “Liberty”, the National Council for Civil Liberties, considers what this type of surveillance will likely lead to:
“If the present proposals for the collection of communications data become law, proposals for other types of blanket or random surveillance irrespective of suspicion “just in case” are a logical next step.”Professor Peter Sommer explains one of the underlying problems:
“Legislators need knowledge of the technical capabilities of surveillance technologies” because: “The legal words need to reflect the reality of how the technology works.”Joss Wright, computer scientist at the Oxford Internet Institute, notes a fundamental and frequently repeated mistake in thinking about regulating internet technology:
“Equating the Internet with historical technologies when making policy is not simply wrong, it is dangerously misleading.”Together with Professor Emmenthal below, policy makers should finally start realizing that “technology’s interaction with the social ecology is such that technical developments frequently have environmental, social, and human consequences that go far beyond the immediate purposes of the technical devices and practices themselves […]” (Kranzberg, 1986). Fortunately, the Open Rights Group established 10 clear recommendations to continue the discussion on digital surveillance law, which will also be applicable in other countries.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 1st 2013 5:25am
from the collateral-damage-on-the-way dept
The Prime Minister said: “We are promoting good, clean, WiFi in local cafes and elsewhere to make sure that people have confidence in public WiFi systems so that they are not going to see things they shouldn’t.”But that's not what they're doing. The internet won't be clean. It'll just be a nuisance. Furthermore, is the unexpected appearance of porn on computers in public places really that big a problem? I've yet to see any serious data suggesting that this happens very often. Most people sitting at a computer in a public space aren't likely to be surfing porn anyway.
In the US, we've actually had something similar. Of course, we're not allowed to make filters mandatory by law, so grandstanding US politicians tiptoed around the issue by just saying that they would deny funding to public internet access providers who don't block porn. But, the end result was that many libraries, for example, stopped taking federal funding to avoid the issue altogether. This really seems like the worst kind of grandstanding: it gets plenty of attention, attacks a problem that probably isn't a problem but which involves "the children!!!!" and it attacks the "problem" ineffectively. It's the trifecta of useless grandstanding.
from the know-your-enemy dept
The photographers are freaking out again. After last year's excitement with Instagram's changes to its terms of service, now it's the UK's Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (ERR) Act that's getting people worked up. Here, for example, is a post on the site of Stop43, a photographers group which successfully fought against the inclusion of orphan works in the UK's Digital Economy Act, with the title: "The Enterprise And Regulatory Reform Act Has Reversed The Normal Workings Of Copyright":
Normal copyright law as agreed in international copyright treaties, to which the UK is signatory, grant copyright owners 'the exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of [their] works, in any manner or form.' Creators don't have to apply for this right: it is theirs automatically and without formality. This means that unless the work is used under one of the narrowly-defined Fair Dealing exceptions to copyright allowed by these treaties, it is illegal to exploit a copyright work without the permission of its owner.
As with the 2010 Digital Economy Act, the bone of contention for photographers is how orphan works will be treated under UK law. The ERR Act has not yet been published, but here's a good summary of what it says, from Out-Law.com:
The EAA Act changes all that. Under its provisions it will be legal to exploit a copyright work - photograph, film, text, song, whatever -- without the knowledge, permission, or payment to its owner.
Under the Government's plans, organisations that wish to use orphan works would have to conduct a 'diligent search' for the owner of orphan works before they could use the material. The searches would have to be verified as diligent by independent authorising bodies. In addition, organisations would have to pay a "market rate" to use orphan works so as rights holders could be recompensed for the use of the works if they were later identified.
Sounds pretty reasonable: works would only be regarded as orphans after a "diligent search". Contrary to what some are saying, it will not be possible for companies to conduct any old kind of search, and claim that it was "diligent": there will be independent authorizing bodies that will check the search was diligent enough, and not just perfunctory. Moreover, even if a work is classed as an orphan, those using it must still pay a fee at the market rate that is held on account in case the owner turns up. So there's no question of works being used for nothing, or of owners not getting paid if they want claim their works.
The big problem turns out to be metadata -- or, rather, the absence of it. Google's Tim Bray explains the concept in a usefully calm post looking at the new UK orphan regulations:
It turns out that electronic photograph files contain not just the pixels that form the image, but also textual fields containing "metadata", information about the picture. This is generally referred to as Exif, and it identifies some or all of: the camera, lens, date, location (if there's a GPS), size, aperture, and lots of other arcane photographic details. Plus, crucially, the name of the creator.
Important stuff. But when photos are uploaded to certain sites, some or all of the metadata is stripped out. Here's what happened when Bray uploaded a photo to Twitter as a test:
I took the picture above, made sure it had my name in the Artist, By-line, and Creator fields, and posted it to Twitter using the Web interface. Then I downloaded the picture and checked the Exif, and sure enough Twitter had nuked it. There were 245 lines of Exif info going in, 58 coming out, and none of them included my name.
According to Bray, other popular online services similarly strip out metadata. This is why photographers are concerned about the new orphan legislation in the UK. They fear that if their photos are available on such sites with little or no metadata, publishers will be able to claim that they couldn't find the creators, and so turn any of those images into orphans.
But this overlooks a number of points. Just because the metadata is absent from photos stored on certain sites does not mean that publishers will be able to claim that they couldn't find the creators as a result. Remember, they must carry out a diligent search, and simply looking at the metadata clearly doesn't qualify. In addition, they will need to look widely elsewhere in order to check whether there is an identifiable creator.
One obvious way to do that is using a search engine. For example, I downloaded the image that Bray uses in his post, and which he discovered had lost its metadata, even on his own site. Then I used Google's image search, which lets you upload images about which you want information. It not only found Bray's original, but also the page on which it is used. Now, it might be argued that Bray's site is quite well known, and therefore not representative, but this trivial experiment does suggest a relatively simple way to address the photographers' concerns.
Provided photographers store somewhere online an image along with their contact details, it is almost certain that Google and other search engines will find it. So an obvious way to avoid having their creations orphaned is to place them in some kind of image repository. This might be set up by photographers' associations for their members, or by independent companies offering a dedicated service. The price of storage is so low now that such a repository would cost very little to use, even for thousands of photos. The availability of images with attribution details would ensure that even a relatively cursory search will locate the owner of the work, thus blocking its use as an orphan.
Ironically, then, it may well be that Google, so often the object of hatred for photographers that see it as feeding parasitically off their work by providing easy access to their online images, will also offer them with the easiest way to avoid the problems with orphan works.
But there's another important issue here. The real threat to photographers and their livelihoods is not the UK's new orphan works legislation; it is the unauthorized stripping away of metadata from uploaded photos. Instead of attacking the new law, photographers should be fighting for full metadata to be retained wherever and however they upload their pictures, at least as an option. That seems entirely justified -- unlike the current moves to brand a reasonable framework to liberate millions of "hostage works" as an attempt to "abolish copyright".
by Glyn Moody
Thu, Apr 25th 2013 9:32am
from the not-over-yet dept
Since the UK government published the draft version of its Communications Data Bill -- better known as the "snooper's charter" -- with plans to store data about every British citizen's emails, mobile calls and visits to Web sites, there has been almost total opposition to it from everyone else. Indeed, there has been growing resistance even within the UK government's ranks, largely from the smaller of the coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats. Here's what the party's leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has been up to, as described by one of the Liberal Democrat MPs, Julian Huppert:
Nick refused to allow the Bill to go ahead, and forced the Home Office to publish the Bill as a draft, allowing us all to see what the Home Office were planning. Nick appointed Paul Strasburger and I onto a Committee to scrutinise it in detail. We went through the evidence, heard from many experts and published a cross-party report. This was damming of the Home Office proposals -- it unanimously describe some of the Home Office information as 'fanciful and misleading'.
However, instead of trying to answer the huge range of criticisms of the proposed Bill, the Home Office simply insisted that such an intrusive system of surveillance was needed. As a result:
Following Nick's intervention and our report, the Home Office was given the chance to rethink. To build a proper case and look for proposals which were proportionate to the problem.
Nick has just this morning announced that he has killed off the Data Communications Bill, dubbed the "snooper’s charter".
By withdrawing the support of the Liberal Democrats, Clegg makes it practically impossible to pass the Bill, since the UK government will lack the requisite majority to push it through. However, this is by no means the end of the story.
Clegg will be under huge pressure from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his Conservative party colleagues, to agree to some slightly watered-down proposals. Cameron will doubtless invoke all the usual reasons -- tackling terrorism, paedophiles, organized crime etc. -- knowing that this plays well with enough of the electorate that Clegg won't be able to ignore it completely. So we can probably expect to see new plans in due course. The question then becomes to what extent they address the huge flaws in the original snooper's charter, and whether they represent an approach that is truly "proportionate to the problem", as the cross-party report puts it. If they don't, the battle will doubtless begin again.
by Glyn Moody
Wed, Apr 17th 2013 1:59pm
UK Supreme Court Says Unauthorized Browsing Of Copyright Material Online Is OK, But Asks European Court Of Justice Just In Case
from the are-we-there-yet? dept
The lawsuits brought against the media monitoring firm Meltwater in both the US and the UK have not turned out too well for the company so far. In the US, the district court handed down a summary judgment against Meltwater, while in the UK, two courts came to a particularly worrying conclusion: that simply viewing copyright material online without a license amounted to infringement.
Fortunately, this judgment was appealed to the UK Supreme Court, which has just published its ruling. The judges recognized that the central issue is whether the temporary copies held on a computer in its memory cache, which are necessary to view a document stored on the Web, are covered by a clause in UK and European law that exempts temporary copies from needing a license provided certain conditions are met. In the judges' view, copies held purely for browsing were indeed covered, provided they were not saved or printed out. Here's why that is crucial:
if it is an infringement merely to view copyright material, without downloading or printing out, then those who browse the internet are likely unintentionally to incur civil liability, at least in principle, by merely coming upon a web-page containing copyright material in the course of browsing. This seems an unacceptable result, which would make infringers of many millions of ordinary users of the internet across the EU who use browsers and search engines for private as well as commercial purposes.
That's obviously just common sense -- sadly, a rare commodity when it comes to copyright in the online world. However, the UK Supreme Court has asked the European Court of Justice to offer its own, definitive, ruling so as to settle the law for the whole of Europe. As the judge writing the verdict noted:
I recognise the issue has a transnational dimension and that the application of copyright law to internet use has important implications for many millions of people across the EU making use of what has become a basic technical facility. These considerations make it desirable that any decision on the point should be referred to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, so that the critical point may be resolved in a manner which will apply uniformly across the European Union.
Of course, the legal status of temporary copies is a crucial question elsewhere, too. For example, in her speech at Columbia University back in March, Copyright Register Maria Pallante spoke of "the confusion over incidental copies", which needed sorting out. More worryingly, one relatively recent leak of the TPP draft seemed to indicate that it would require all temporary copies to be regulated. The fact that we are still having this discussion about a technological necessity some twenty years after the Web was invented, shows just how out of touch with modern reality copyright law remains.
by Tim Cushing
Wed, Apr 10th 2013 3:38am
UK Parking Enforcement Contractor Leaves Sensitive Driver Data Exposed; Compounds Embarrassment By Issuing Bogus Legal Threats
from the as-secure-as-an-unlocked,-vellum-paper-door dept
Another day, another self-inflicted privacy breach. This time it's a UK private parking enforcement contractor that's leaving its supposedly-secret stuff right out in the open.
UK Parking Control (UKPC) is accused of revealing photographs of Brits' cars parked with number plates clearly to be read and in some cases the location revealed. In some images it's alleged that other details such as identification cards, shopping or belongings are clearly visible. Campaigners against private parking firms believe these images - allegedly made easily accessible to anyone on the UKPC website - exposed drivers' personal information.When UKPC tickets a car, its enforcers take photos of the vehicle (and, apparently, inside the vehicle, among other places), which are uploaded to UKPC's site. The ticket itself has a printed URL pointing to the damning photos of the illegally parked vehicle. It's a slick system, but its "security" is easily thwarted by a process AT&T might find strangely familiar.
[O[ne ticket recipient claimed to have found that by tweaking values in this web address, he could access thousands of other digital photographs of other people's vehicles... Some shots show personal items on view inside the vehicles, such as an ID card placed next to a disabled-driver badge.As you may recall, tweaking URLs allowed "Weev" to access the email addresses of hundreds of iPad users (and landed him in jail). The same lack of basic security is on display here. Changing a few values in the URL results in access to photos you were never meant to see.
A blog called Nutsville, which has been a longtime critic of the UK's private parking enforcement, posted several photos obtained from UKPC's website. Among the expected photos of vehicles (with visible license plates) are other oddities, including shots of the lower extremities of parking enforcement employees relaxing at home, several photos of vehicle interiors and most disturbingly, crystal clear photos of drivers' identification cards.
After the Register reported this story, the UK Information Commissioner's office pledged to investigate the leak. UKPC hasn't publicly responded to the breach, but it did send its lawyers after Nutsville in the form of a bizarre Letter Before Action that mixes and matches criminal and civil actions and seems unable to decide on when exactly Nutsville should respond/comply. Nutsville's response to the letter is well worth reading, punching holes in its paper-thin claims and generally deriding the ineptitude of the correspondence.
The letter claims Nutsville has breached the Computer Misuse Act, claiming these photos were acquired by "using a password, without authorisation, to access their website." Nutsville points out this is completely false. The only thing accessed were various URLs on UKPC's site by manipulating values in the URL themselves. From that point on, UKPC's legal representative goes completely off the rails, threatening to inform the police (a criminal matter) of Nutsville's actions. Mere sentences later, the lawyer threatens "injunctive High Court proceedings," suddenly making it a civil matter. On top of that, UKPC's rep demands Nutsville take down the blog post by 10 AM on April 2nd, only to wrap up the bungled legalese by requesting a reply by no later than April 8th.
As both deadlines have come and gone with no follow-up post from Nutsville (or response from UKPC), it would appear that the parking enforcement contractor has either given up on pursuing these bogus legal claims or is tied up attempting to clean up its own backyard ahead of the pending investigation.
The most disappointing aspect of this story is UKPC's response. Disappointing, but far from unexpected. For many businesses, the most common reaction to being informed of a data breach is to shoot the messenger. Rather than issue an apology and fix the problem, they tend to fire off legal threats about "unauthorized access" or other vague hacking claims as if the end user making the discovery should be treated as a criminal for their own negligence.
by Tim Cushing
Tue, Apr 2nd 2013 7:57am
UK Music Licensing Agency Says You Can't Use Its Music In Your Podcast Without First Purchasing A License It Doesn't Even Offer
from the pretty-much-like-the-movie-'Brazil,'-only-with-stylish-electronics dept
Podcasters in the UK are running into licensing problems when attempting to clear music for their broadcasts, as PPL (who covers performance rights for recorded music, like SoundExchange in the US) is causing problems. PPL has a history of questionable over enforcement, and they just can't let up, apparently. Phil Satterly sends in this rather sad story of a long-running Progressive Rock podcast (DRRP Radio) that is going "off the air" thanks to PPL's thoroughly impossible demands.
Launched 18 months ago, we've produced 83 shows that have been downloaded over 30,000 times. We've covered bands from every type of prog. We've done special features on independent labels and festivals plus interviews with the likes of Clive Nolan, Steven Wilson, Gazpacho, Steve Hogarth, Riverside, Sean Filkins, Mystery and Godsticks. We have regular listeners from as far away as New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Cuba and The Shetland Isles!PPL is doing what collective rights organizations do best: shut down as many artistic outlets as possible. The organization is looking for a payout, but can't even be bothered to let people pay them, as Andy Read (one of the podcast hosts) points out.
Unfortunately three weeks ago our service provider stopped enabling downloads of the shows. The move followed pressure from the PPL – the organisation in the UK which provides broadcast licences for the recording copyright holder (i.e. record companies).
Music licensing is a complex issue and it took quite some find to find a way to legally do DPRP Radio in the first place. We have a broadcast licence, we have a streaming licence and we have a podcast licence for the PRS – the body representing the songwriters. We do not have a podcast licence for the PPL who are now threatening legal action against podcast providers. We would happily buy a podcast licence from them… but they do not offer one!DRRP isn't the only podcast being asked to do the impossible by PPL. The UK Folk Music podcast host quotes the PPL website's wording on the broadcast licensing it does offer.
As a broadcaster you would have to obtain permission from potentially thousands of record companies before being able to play the recorded music – a PPL licence gives you this permission and allows you to play virtually all recorded music readily available in the UK simply, quickly and legally. PPL then passes these licence fees, less our running costs, onto the performers and rights holders, similar to royalties.Handy, I guess, except that PPL does not offer a license specifically for podcasting. Podcasters need a very limited license if using PPL's music because the podcasts are able to be downloaded and stored. This distinguishes them (and moves them into another area of copyright protection) from radio broadcasts or other streaming services whose offerings are transient. (Not that these can't be "trapped/downloaded." Anyone remember cassette tapes? Yeah, same thing. Only with software.)
PPL's lack of a podcasting license punts the ball back to podcasters and other music bloggers. If they can't get a blanket license, they'll have to do it the hard way: "obtain permission from potentially thousands of record companies before being able to play the recorded music."
Obviously, this is an impossibility. And for those of you saying clever stuff like "just use original music by artists not represented by this agency?" Well, you obviously haven't been paying attention. Rights groups like PPL and PRS will still try to collect from you. In their minds, no one plays music anywhere (not even in their hardware store/ hotel room) without playing a bunch of their stuff. It's a self-serving distortion of reality.
And for those hoping the artists that split from PPL to form their own rights group (EOS) will result in a brighter, smoother future for all concerned? You can pretty much kiss that rosy picture goodbye. EOS has already attempted to shutter a few radio stations. The end result is another venue for artist exposure being shut down by the "white knights" of the artistic community. These agencies don't really care about the artists on their roster. They just want to find a way to insert themselves, hands out, between the artists and their supporters.