Barely has the first generation of podcasts staggered its first steps than the next generation could come running past it. The Joint licensing alliance of the MCPS and PRS in the UK is ready to issue the first raft of Joint Online Licences that would allow the use of music in podcasts. However, and you knew this was coming, the alliance statement says “we … want reassurance on DRM technology”. Yes, podcasts are fine but only if their wrapped. Hang on, there’s also another hurdle, the PPL, which represents record labels’ song rights, will also need to licence any music prior to use.

OK, while this is a step forward, it’s a very small one. So, perhaps that generation may not be moving as fast as thought. After all, part of the success of podcasts has been the ubiquity of the format and ease of creation. DRM means proprietary formats, means propritary tools, means costs…incompatibility….wait, where have we heard this before?

I take it all back, the new licence means little right now.

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