] The ASCAP license is only the tip of the iceberg: there
] are also comparable licenses for BMI and SESAC, two other
] performing rights organizations; mechanical rights from
] the Harry Fox Agency, _and_ a "master use license" to be
] negotiated with the record labels for each track. The
] latter can be under any terms the label chooses, and they
] can refuse you outright.
ASCAP only has the right to license public performance of non-dramatic works. This is outside the scope of PROs. It is not a performance in the manor a "stream" is viewed, but a mechanical copy. Someone equated the "cast" part of podcast with streaming. The more knowledgeable techies know that even a stream is technically a copy of bits, but the copy prevention (legally protected from tampering via DMCA) changes the way its viewed.
Podcasts are not broadcasts, or more specificly, not public performance. If you played a podcast for a group of people in a situation outside a normal gathering of friends/family at a location such as your house (like a bar, coffee house, restaurant, hold music, a ra stream, etc), you would need a license from the respective PRO to play the podcast, regardless of how the mechanical licensing angle is resolved. However, a PRO is not able to license the mechanical copy. If a podcast was actually a "stream", it would be different. Its a different right. (Assuming your podcast contained protected works...)
Depending on the usage of the work within the podcast, it may be fair use.
Boing Boing: Wil Wheaton: So, ASCAP to *license* podcasts? Readers respond.