We've written about the complex, yet incredibly important, world of music publishing and licensing (see: Bigger than Grokster?, The Complexities of Music and Music Publishers Leave Dark Age). Shockingly, despite our efforts, the impact of Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Code has yet to be referenced on The OC or even debated on Meet the Press.
This doesn't mean that there isn't furious and even interesting battles happening behind the scenes with the labels, publishers, performance rights organizations and the music distribution intermediaries. Naturally, this action is being driven by serious interest in making as much money as possible in new, opening digital markets. The current (and seminal) gold rush is the $4 billion dollar-plus ringtone market.
American Lawyer currently has an excellent article on why (free registration required). An excerpt: