Because of fears over ownership....
Chris Taylor

11:51 10th June 2006

Veteran star Billy Bragg has surprisingly been one of the first artists to react to fears MySpace owns the rights to music placed on the internet site.

Fears have recently been expressed that the Rupert Murdoch owned website automatically owns musical content posted onto the site, after someone took the trouble to actually read the small print on MySpace’s user agreement.

One portion states, according to Bragg, “Once an artist posts up any content (including songs) it then belongs to MySpace and they can do what they want with it, throughout the world, without paying the artist."

His spokesperson adds, on Bragg’s MySpace site, “Because of this we've had to take all of Billy's songs down."

Similar discussions had been aired on influential industry internet forums this week – with the thinking being that Murdoch’s News Corporation didn’t shell out $300m for nothing.

However, MySpace have insisted the clauses in their user agreement are merely there to ensure no-one else abuses the artist’s work.

A statement from them states, “Because the legalese has caused some confusion, we are at work clarifying it to make very clear that MySpace is not seeking a licence to do anything with an artist's work other than allow it to be shared in the manner the artist intends.

"Putting music on MySpace does not give us the right to sell it - the musicians own their content and can do with it as they wish. Obviously, we don't own their music or do anything with it that they don't want."