the basic premise of over-the-air broadcast is a business plan
that's how it's 'free', and available. that's how they pay their
royalites (meager they are). in europe, the same, but the royalties
are considerably better, and as i understand, not only for the
artist, but the songwriter as well.
the same premise can and will and does work for internet radio.
either you listen to commercials, or pay a subscription fee.
the problem comes when people want to put a playlist up and stream
it, without commercials, and not pay royalties. these people simply
do not have a right to do so. if they had an air radio station,
they couldn't pay the power bill, nor the royalties, so their
business plan was not self-supporting.
eventually, there will be free net radio of public domain materials,
or of material with permission, and there will be pay-for net radio
with stuff which requires proper payment to the creative parties
involved. of course this is already happening, but not to the degree
it will in the near future. same for visual media (i.e., video).
in fact, it will most likely extend to a paid-for subscription and
also have commercials (such as your cable or satellite TV, or your
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Things are not what they seem to be; nor are they otherwise.
-- Lankavatara Sutra