Universal Music Sues MySpace In Its Continuing Effort To Get Money From Everyone

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

Two months ago, Universal Music’s chief Doug Morris publicly claimed that both YouTube and MySpace owed his company millions of dollars. That claim has been disputed by legal experts, but it scared YouTube and Google enough to hand over a bunch of money to Universal Music and others to sue some other sites while leaving them alone. It appears that MySpace didn’t get the hint. So, today, just hours after MySpace announced a new tool to better allow content owners to pull content off the site, Universal Music has officially sued MySpace. As for how they get around the protections MySpace is afforded as a service provider, it appears they’re claiming that by reformatting the videos to play on the site, they’re taking a more proactive role in the copyright infringement. It seems like a long shot, as MySpace has some pretty clear defenses. Either way, Universal Music has really been on a tear lately, as it demands money from pretty much everyone. You’ve got the people who actually buy the music (of course), the sites that then help promote by using it in videos and, of course, he convinced Microsoft to give them a cut for every Zune sold. He’s probably proud of himself for bringing in these new “lines” of revenue, but it seems like a strategy destined to fail. He’s just made it a lot more expensive and difficult for anyone to promote his music — meaning they’ll gladly look for other options.

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Comments on “Universal Music Sues MySpace In Its Continuing Effort To Get Money From Everyone”

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SimplyGimp says:

What's sad...

I’m not trying to promote MySpace. I use it for keeping contact with old friends from where I used to live. Sometimes I put music videos or just a embedded mp3 URL in my page for my visitors to listen to. Thing is, I use hosting sites, or video clip sites as my source of this content, then it’s straight HTML to embed it to the MySpace page. MySpace can’t stop that unless they prevent everyone from embedding any sort of sound file or video file.

This law suit happens to be just because of the people that upload to MySpace’s own video database, which converts the video on their servers to flash, hence ‘participation’ in the crime. I smell BS either way, and it’s impossible to stop without severely hindering the use of MySpace. Should be fun to watch this play out!

Matt Seckora (user link) says:

Myspace user

I agree with you SimplyGimp, how can myspace be the company to get sued when the templates, video clips, music clips are from other sites?

Expample: I could design a nice template for the background on a myspace account, am I going to sue myspace because john doe put up a template that I designed. No! We are in it to share information and keep in touch with friends, family, and anyone else that wants to communicate on myspace.

Be interesting to see what the outcome is.

Tashi says:

lots of indie music on myspace

I’m not gonna post my music page here. It’s more of a hobby for me than a serious source of income, but there are serious artists there that could use the support. It’d be cool if users sent the bigwigs a message. Not much chance of that though. Kids are pretty much monkey see monkey do, but that option is there and I use it. I haven’t bought a CD in 6 years and I don’t download the major label mainstream music. There’s lots of good indie stuff out there.

rstr5105 says:

what i find amazing

…is that there are so many of us that agree that myspace/youtube/google video etc., aren’t doing anything wrong, yet, companies like UM can sit there and say “Oh that’$ gonna hurt our bu$ine$$, let’s $ue!”

It’s fa-qing rediculous (sp?).

Listen UM, Myspace users posting your music on their “space” = FREE promotion. FREE promotion means somebody is likely to hear one of your songs and say, “Oh I like that, what album is that off of?” and when a user says that, it means that they are likely to go out and purchase the overpriced media from whence that song came. Further, MySpace also limits the number of songs a user can upload to four. There is no chance of uploading a full album to myspace music. and to myspace video, I am pretty sure that that is all covered by fair use.

Lay off the content providers UM.

michael (user link) says:

Re: what i find amazing

I completely agree

I know a shit ton of people who go to my page just to listen to my playlist.

I was on the phone with a friend like 6 hours ago who wanted to make sure Born Of Osiris only had one album because he liked what he heard on there.

So thanks to myspace a kid in New Jersey, 10 hours away from me, bought this band’s cd.

AAAAAAAnd because of that they’ll probably sell quite a few more once he shows friends, they show friends, etc etc

Basically big label’s are pissed because: they suck dick.

nobody’s buying their “artist’s” albums, because everyone realized they shouldn’t pay for shit.

Not music, just shit.

So they’re gonna sit around bitching about the money they’re not making anymore.

But at the same time myspace will be continued to be used for bands that actually have talent and just want to make music. They’ll still sell albums, because people are learning more and more what music really is.

Sorry universal but it’s not maroon 5.

But then again this is just my opinion.
(although I know plenty of people who would agree)

Just like me those people weren’t buying/pirating any “universal music releases” before myspace, and most likely we won’t be afterward.

I mean how much of a fuck can you REALLY pretend to give when you’re taking one of the biggest free promotion sites to court FOR LETTING PEOPLE PROMOTE THE MUSIC FOR FREE.


money over bitches says:

down with MySpace & News Corp.

UM don’t serve to be in the music business.

MySpace sucks. Site never works the way it’s suppose to when you want it to, design is horrible and so on and so on

Earlier this week it was announced MySpace is worth $6billion [no wonder UM is suing]. Any value the site has is because of us, the users.

This week, News Corp companies decided to published an new book by OJ Simpson – apparently his confession to the murder of his ex-wife. To top it off they thought it should also be a TV show as well.

The whole concept is vile to me. There’s dozens of other music/social networking sites …..reverb nation, music hawk, my local band [i think], mp3.com is back and I know there’s more I’m not thinking of

Let Myspace get sued, and then let it fall by the way side like so many other online properties that no one misses anymore as users find better designed and artist friendly sites.

crackbag says:

Microsoft is behind it

Microsoft is behind this sueing tear. Microsoft has bribed Universal with a cut of every Zune sold in exchange for “Favored partner” status.

Microsoft wants in to the consumer electronics space in the worst way, but there’s just one problem: Apple is already there and isn’t about to surrender. And it’s well-publicized that the music industry is very unhappy about Apple’s refusal to raise prices on certain (popular) tracks on the iTunes Store.

So, the only way that either Universal or Microsoft can accomplish their goals is to collude with a partner in an effort to force Apple to either A. bend to their will, or B. lose its place as a dominant player in the music/media market.

It now appears that in each other, Microsoft and Universal had found suitably sleazy partner who’re willing to screw anyone and everyone — former PlaysForSure partners, competitors, consumers — in pursuit of money, power and control.

Watch for this: in the upcoming year, there will be a mass marketing thrust by the music industry and Microsoft promoting Zune as the only safe, legal, RIAA-approved media playback device. There will be attack campaigns on iPod as fostering piracy. The DRM restrictions on the Zune will only get more ridiculous, because that’s what the music industry wants. Microsoft, in exchange for its bribe money to Universal for each Zune sold, will get preferential treatment, more songs on Zune Marketplace, exclusive material, etc.

This all reeks of collusion.

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