This is an article mainly about the licensing process for internet music stations. The article explains that in order to get an internet public performance license one must contact, ASCAP, BMI, and/or SESAC. In exchange, you pay a royalty rate to these groups based on your service's gross revenue, who then pass them to the record publishers and rights holders. However, the article goes on, the licensing can be a difficult, confusing, and contradictory process. For example, ASCAP's license does not say one may make multiple copies of the music and the Copyright Act only permits one copy of the transmission, but transmission of anything over the internet technically occurs by copies being made. The Copyright Act says non-subscription transmissions are exempt from licensing, but one argument is that any website is still a subscription service because users accessing it must pay for the internet through service providers. There is also statutory licensing if transmissions fit five criteria.
I came across this article in my research about how some copyright holders are willing to waive some copyright in order to benefit from MP3 blogs, while still fighting for stricter copyright law that will curb the use of other similar technology such as peer-to-peer services. The licensing options in this provide a legal way for people to get licenses to use music over the internet so that the copyright holders still get paid. However it seems that for much of the use of music on the internet, particularly for bloggers, there is little or no revenue generated. Also while these licenses help the copyright owners to make some money for the work's use, by the time the money gets through the collecting societies, then to the copyright holder, there is probably little monetary value for anyone involved and it may not be much of a step in promoting the artist's creativity.