Piracy and its split personalities
Just wanted to add and clarify a couple of points: as to music licenses in the US, the licensing agencies are ASCAP and BMI. Radio stations pay blanket license fees to both of these organizations and are given blanket licenses to play anything that are licensed by the two (that means everything that's available in the US). These agencies also enter into license agreements with TV, movies, performing arts organizations, and any other organization or individual who plays music in a public performance. And if you don't pay, they are quite nasty. They don't hesitate to file lawsuits.
Now, this article and the comments that are being made remind me of the arguments that were being made 15 or so years ago on Compuserve's PC Forum. Back then there was very little freeware or shareware available for the PC -- most of it that was available was utility software and while nice it didn't help people do spreadsheets, word processing, presentation graphics, etc. Lotus, Microsoft and WordPerfect were all whining about lost revenue, but really the only way that one could try the software was to make a copy and run it. The software companies engaged in elaborate copy protection schemes, the principal effect of which was to create a market for copy protection-breaking software. In the end these companies pretty much abandoned their efforts, realizing that most people who DID engage in this "piracy" eventually bought the software so they could get the documentation. Those that did not do so had no access to upgrades, no acess to documentation and no access to technical support, all important back then.
Now people don't have to resort to "piracy" to try out software. The company that doesn't provide some kind of a demo -- usually through multiple channels -- stands out as unusual. In other words, the software companies learned to live with the problem and, really, turn some of its social characteristics to their advantage.
It seems to me that the recording and motion picture industries would do well to emulate the software industry. Instead of maintaining a two-front (legislation and law suits), direct assault on "piracy," these companies ought to embrace the distribution technology and figure out a way of providing time-limited demos of their wares. If, say, Metalica, were to join Napster and release such demos, my guess is that the "black market" for unauthorized copies of its music would contract significantly.