New Myspace Already Having Legal Problems

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Less than a week after going public, Myspace — a website launched to help Justin Timberlake sell an album — is already facing its first copyright issues. While the relaunch is focused largely on music, with licensing deals for over 50 million songs, it hasn’t stopped them from allegedly using music from smaller labels without permission. The Merlin Network claims Myspace features content from its clients without permission.

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Merlin is claiming that music from more than 100 of their clients can be listened to through the new Myspace. The Merlin Network makes licensing deals for the digital rights to music from indie labels like Beggars Group, Domino, and Merge Records. Although Myspace did initially license music from Merlin, that deal lapsed last year.

Charles Caldas, chief executive of the Merlin Network, said that though it was nice Timberlake was launching this platform, “his peers as artists are being exploited without permission and not getting remuneration for it.”

Myspace claims that any songs on their site that infringe on Merlin’s licensing deals were added by users, and that they would remove those songs at Merlin’s request. Whether that will satisfy Merlin or not is unclear, but at the very least it could mean Myspace is about to get much more thorough with their copyright policing.

(via The Verge, image via Myspace)

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Glen Tickle
Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.