MySpace: Music Is For Selling, Not Sharing

from the that-sounds-smart dept

Is it possible for user-submitted media sites to take a draconian approach to copyrighted material while also remaining cool? Trying to balance these two objectives has led to the death of services like Napster, and it’s now being faced by the likes of YouTube and MySpace. To this end, MySpace has licensed technology from Gracenote that supposedly can identify uploaded songs to see whether they’re copyrighted. Users often upload their favorite songs to their page that automatically start playing when a visitor goes there. It happens to be one of MySpace’s most popular and irritating features. Part of the reason the company wants to crack down on this is because it’s planning on offering its own music store, which will sell these same songs from major bands. Supposing the technology even worked effectively, which it never has in the past, it’s hard to see what the company is thinking. Eliminating one of its core social features just so it can support its music store is really short sighted. Why does it want to turn itself into yet another underdog iTunes competitor? Already, the site is battling to retain its ever-fickle youth demographic; making the site less cool will only hasten the move to freer pastures, where harmless activities like posting songs to a website will be tolerated.

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Comments on “MySpace: Music Is For Selling, Not Sharing”

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DittoBox (user link) says:

Re: Can you say...

Yes, nice job indeed. It might make going to MySpace slightly less painful.

“Users often upload their favorite songs to their page that automatically start playing when a visitor goes there. “

So, let me get this straight: so they’re going to start removing the 9 different songs that start playing on people’s
MySpace page as you open it up? Wow! If only they could remove their ugly mugs and strip the bastardized, radiation sick cousin’s of CSS and HTML from everyone’s profiles and we’d be all set.

SimplyGimp says:


What’s sad about this, is that MySpace is only blocking uploads to their own server. What remains a problem is all the ‘video/mp3″ code sites that let you embed the music to you page with HTML. I personally host whatever song I want on my page on a file hosting website, then embed it using the WMP plugin. That way, when people visit my page, they don’t see MySpace”s ugly little music player and they hear the exact song that I want them to hear.

As far as I know, they’ll have to stop people from embedding content in their pages if they want to completely stop this ‘music issue’. Until then, anyone who really wants to can still have whatever music or video they’d like right there on their MySpace page.

Geoff says:

Marketing for dummies

What am I missing here? When you or I upload a song to a site like myspace, we are not offering the song for sharing per se, we are offering the song for listening only aren’t we?

Think about the possibilities, I visit someone’s site and they are playing a cool tune, I love, I find out who did it and I buy it – or is someone fearful that I will just bookmark the site and everytime I want to hear it I will visit the site in hopes that the site’s owner hasn’t grown tired of the song and changed it?

To the best of my knowledge my Zune will not be able to pick up the signal off an embedded page….Unless this Zune is gonna have some far-out uninvented RF capability we haven’t heard of!

The fear mongering at record companies and digital media distributors is so far off the mark it scares the hell out of me, albeit it makes me better understand why so many crap artists get record deals and the best music remains independant!!!!!

Kevin says:


In my opinion, it is very difficult to prevent music being shared for free over the internet. It is said above that Myspace is introducing a store to sell music. Also, bands put up music to be played on user’s profiles. All this is legal, but at the same time, people are able to uplaod music from the computer and share it by creating fake band profiles. What I’m saying is Myspace is not to blame. With the technology avalible today, illegal file sharing will be very hard to eliminate over the internet.

Joe Frazier says:

article is all wrong

myspace is not doing this because they plan to start selling the songs. and myspace is not getting rid of one of their best features. you can’t “upload” a song to your page on myspace. you can add a song to ur page if the song is on a music account.

the music accounts on myspace are for musicians. almost every major band has an account and myspace alllows users to play the songs that the bands themselves put on the site. the bands choose which songs they want to let the fans share, and the fans on myspace can share them.

from the beginning myspace has deleted fake music accounts. now they’re just using a new technology to help them detect them.

LarrySDonald says:

This article

I doubt this will work especially well, not that I care much. I jammed an adblock on the player – I really don’t need to hear the first five seconds of someones favorite song and have to click it off every page.

Being an ISP tech though, MySpace probably doesn’t have that much choice here. The music industry would do this anyway, even as a hoster you are responsible to respond to takedown notices from the copyright holder. They would likely use this tech as much as they could, but then MySpace would be responsible for manually going after them (there is no requirement that a takedown notice be sent in a manner that can be automated – it can even be a fax or letter) should the industry choose to get vicious (The music industry being the slightest bit underhanded in hunting online music? Nahh.. That never happens).

It’s true that the rules differ somewhat for broadcasts (both net and otherwise), but that’s not at all a free for all – royalties still have to be payed at a lower rate by a complex set of rules I doubt many (if any) MySpace pages are obeying or even understand.

One would think the music industry would be better served by the exposure then hurt by potential lack of sales due to listening, but bottom line it is their work and that’s for them to decide. They’re sure not shy about trying to get on radio playlists and eventually they’ll probably get around to tapping this market advantage as well or do so more constructively and with less paranoia. But, I reiterate, that’s the law and nearly always has been. You make music, you get to decide what and how you intend to get paid or, as the case may be, not paid and where it can be used beyond Fair Use.

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