An anonymous reader writes "If you were to set up an authorized music service, you might think that the licensing of the music, while it would involve a detailed negotiation with record labels and publishers, would still be relatively straightforward if you could just agree on numbers. Not so fast. One new service has outlined that incredible mess in licensing music for an online service in graphical form. It specifically covers the UK market, but the same basic structural disaster happens around the globe (making things even more difficult if you want your service to be global). Basically, you'll need a full-time team of lawyers to continually sort through the mess, and even then you're probably still infringing on someone's rights. As the post notes, this is the result of various governments — at the regular urging of the industry — to simply slap new "rights" into copyright every time a new technology comes along, leading to various bureaucracies and cross licenses. And it gets worse when new technologies like the Internet don't clearly fit into one bucket, and multiple groups demand licenses for the same thing."
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