Hijacking copyrights and the call for a general content license

But in May this year all the music was taken down because, as a posting to his blog pointed out “someone who we work with was bright enough to read the small print of the MySpace terms and conditions and found that once an artist posts up any content (including songs), it then belongs to My Space and they can do what they want with it, throughout the world”.

This was perhaps overstating the case, and at the time MySpace blamed what it calls “the legalese”, but the terms and conditions from March this year did give it the right to “use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute” anything uploaded onto the site.

This was sufficiently broad to worry any professional musician, especially one like Bragg who has carefully retained ownership of his work and knows how licences operate.

So the music was removed, and MySpace was told that its terms were not acceptable.

As a result of the comments made by Bragg and the general publicity his move generated, MySpace has done the right thing and come up with a far simpler and more defensible set of terms for using the site.

Read this article from BBC Technology News and similar news about the fine print at YouTube.

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Filed under Digital Commons, Fair Use, Social Media, User generated content, Virtual Communities

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