According to Lawrence Lessig (6 min 30 in), some 75% of all books are orphaned. It's legally impossible to do anything with those works, because the copyright holder can't be reached for permission.
I think you're suggesting that that should be no problem, because if the copyright owner can't be found, who's going to sue you for using their work? The problem is that you don't know they're not going to suddenly appear and sue you afterward, and for this reason no right-minded company will publish/broadcast/produce your work unless you have secured all related rights.
So, to answer your question, these works are an issue because otherwise some 75% of creative works are just lost: out of print and inaccessible.
How nice to be so binary, but for many of us the situation is not so clear-cut. I do not want to be shown animated ads at all: their usefulness to me is outweighed by their intrusiveness. But I'm perfectly happy for a site to include text links, because they may be relevant, and will help keep this website, which I have found useful enough to visit, operational.
Currently there is no way for me to express this preference. I have to block everything or nothing.
Except it's not. Posts from Last.fm staff in the comments make it clear that this is about revenue maximization, not licensing problems:
[The US, UK, and Germany] are the countries in which we have the most resources to support an ad sales organization, which is how we earn money to pay artists and labels for their music. We are focused on the US, UK, and Germany as key markets, with the help of the CBS Interactive salesforce and our own sales team here in London.
No, either way, it's wrong. The heading says, "Second Brightest-Object In the Sky," which is incorrect, because the Sun is the brightest object in the sky and the second-brightest is the Moon.
The summary says, "the brightest object in the night sky," which is incorrect, because that would be the Moon.
I know you're joking, but this is Slashdot, and I expect the jokes to be funny AND measurably correct.
> Now you could disable it on the system, I suppose, but that'd gain you nothing. The software would just refuse to play.
I suppose the objection is that DRM such as HDCP only proliferates if players support it. The content manufacturers come up with a scheme, and all the little software & hardware players must come on board, because if they don't their products won't be able to play the content.
Microsoft, by virtue of its near-monopoly on the desktop, could kill a DRM scheme for the desktop simply by refusing to support it. But they choose not to. Which is a reasonable business decision, but still rankles.
That's my guess, anyway.
The absent ones are always at fault.