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Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Bragg removes songs from MySpace
Billy Bragg
Bragg's songs include New England, which was a hit for Kirsty MacColl
Billy Bragg has removed his music from the MySpace website as he fears it could be used without his permission.

The musician is objecting to a clause in the terms and conditions which he claims could allow MySpace to do what they want with it.

But a UK-based spokesman for MySpace, which is owned by News Corporation, said it does not have any ownership rights over any music put on the site.

The online networking site is popular with musicians posting their work.


Stars such as Robbie Williams, Madonna and U2 are among the artists who all have homepages on the site.

In a posting on Bragg's homepage, his representative said: "Once an artist posts up any content (including songs) it then belongs to MySpace (aka Rupert Murdoch) and they can do what they want with it, throughout the world, without paying the artist."

"Because of this we've had to take all of Billy's songs down."

The clause which has raised 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".

But the MySpace spokesman said 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.

He added that once the music is removed from the site the licence to MySpace is terminated.


In a statement, MySpace said: "Our terms of service are designed merely to allow artists to offer fans their music on MySpace and to permit the site to function as designed.

"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."

It added: "Because MySpace respects artists and the work, we go to great lengths to ensure their content is treated properly."

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