SOCIAL NETWORK Myspace reportedly is neglecting to negotiate music licensing agreements despite being geared towards showcasing musicians.
Myspace recently relaunched with pop singer Justin Timberlake fronting efforts to see the once powerful social network regain its footing after years of decline. Despite Myspace positioning itself as a social network for music it seems that Timberlake and his colleagues are providing access to music that isn't licensed.
According to the New York Times, artists signed up to small labels are seeing their music being offered on Myspace without a license being negotiated between Myspace and the labels.
Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin, a firm that negotiates contracts for smaller recording labels, said songs from hundreds of smaller labels are available on the social network and cited Beggars Group, Domino and Merge as examples.
Caldas said, "While it's nice that Mr. Timberlake is launching his service on this platform, and acting as an advocate for the platform, on the other hand his peers as artists are being exploited without permission and not getting remuneration for it."
Myspace confirmed that there is no contract between it and Merlin and claimed that if any of its songs are on the website it is because users had uploaded them.
Myspace said that songs from the unlicensed labels would be removed at their request. Nevertheless given Myspace's positioning as a medium for music artists to promote themselves, that it has been caught offering unlicensed music is deeply embarrassing. µ