Podcast power is on the rise and Motorola is joining the party. Following the release of the iTunes-compatible ROKR phone, the mobile company is now launching three features that will contain full-length, copyright-covered music, something of a grey area in the emerging broadcast medium. The shows will feature Radio 1 DJs Gilles Peterson and Bobby Friction and writer Robert Elms covering hip hop and London’s music scene respectively. A third show will cover New York’s music scene. The London and New York shows are 10 minutes long, the hip hop is 45 minutes.

The joint MCPS/PRS agreement seems to cover mobile music but there’s no clear ruling on the inclusion of copyright music on podcasts or mobile shows (Motorola’s aren’t really podcasts). There’s not even agreement on payment schemes for onilne radio stations, which have been around for almost 10 years. Many big name broadcasters such as the BBC avoid music entirely, while others have experimented with including 30 or 60-second clips. Motorola took the long road and cleared each piece with all the concerned rights holders.

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