It's not often you'll hear me praise MySpace for doing "the right thing", but I was pleasantly surprised to read that they've changed (or clairified) their terms and conditions.
Billy Bragg had been campaigning for MySpace to change them, as they seemed to give rights to music posted on MySpace to the Murdoch-backed company. Late last week the site did change its rules to reflect Bragg's wishes.
"With respect to the guys at MySpace I have to accept that within a week of me writing a letter to Music Week they had complied with my suggestion to change their terms and conditions, so more power to them, I respect that," Bragg told OUT-LAW. "I think MySpace acted in the spirit of the internet."
The new terms and conditions make it clear that the company renounces all ownership rights to musicians' material. Previously, the rules had seemed to assert the company's control over material posted there, though the company claimed that that view was a misinterpretation of the rules.
Previously, the rules said that a user would "hereby grant to MySpace.com a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content on and through the Services."
The new conditions read: "MySpace.com does not claim any ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively, 'Content') that you post to the MySpace Services. After posting your Content to the MySpace Services, you continue to retain all ownership rights in such Content, and you continue to have the right to use your Content in any way you choose."
The new terms and conditions state that posting material automatically grants MySpace a limited licence to use and modify the content, but says that this is purely a technical issue. "Without this licence, MySpace.com would be unable to provide the MySpace services," said the terms.