Bragg angry over MySpace song ownership

Billy Bragg has removed his music from social networking site MySpace for fears that it could be used without his permission.

"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 (AKA Rupert Murdoch) and they can do what they want with it, throughout the world without paying the artist", the singer said in a statement on his MySpace blog.

The clause in the terms and conditions that raises concerns states artists "grant to Myspace.com a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide licence (with the rights to sublicense through unlimited levels of sub licensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit and distribute such content on and through the services".

A MySpace spokesman told the BBC in response to the claim that "the copyright remains with the musician at all times and the clause is there only to allow the music to be used on the site in the way the artist intended".

Bragg has called on other MySpace contributors, which include musicians Madonna and Robbie Williams among others, to start a "small revolution" and force the site to remove the clause.

A MySpace spokesman, Jeff Berman, said "Because the legalese has caused some confusion, we are at work revising it to make it very clear that MySpace is not seeking a license to do anything with an artist's work other than allow it to be shared in the manner the artist intends. Obviously, we don't own their music or do anything with it that they don't want".


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