Myspace's Justin Timberlake-Powered Relaunch Crashes Into Music Rights Problem

Merlin's deal with Myspace has lapsed.

Myspace recently orchestrated a dramatic overhaul in order to bring the ailing social network back to relevance in the time of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—but the New York Times says it's suffered a nasty setback recently as a group that represents thousands of independent record labels is accusing Myspace of publishing music without permission.

Merlin, a group that negotiates deals worldwide for smaller independent record labels, had a long-standing agreement with Myspace—but this deal has lapsed over a year ago and not been renegotiated. Meanwhile Merlin notes that music from over a hundred of its clients is still published on Myspace. According to the Times Myspace is placing the blame on individual users uploading infringing content.

Myspace's recent revamp was very much about making it the social network of choice for music content, and investor Justin Timberlake was a big part of the effort.

[Image: Flickr user edinthekitchen]

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6 Comments

  • Gary Herndon

    I'm going to wait and see my accounts on Myspace get deleted, Then, I'm going to NOT join the New Myspace. When Justin's New Myspace fails, and I will laugh my "PHUCKING" ass off, I'll give the poor boy a call. And I'll ask him ever so quickly "You ever thought about a SOCIAL NETWORK CALLED MYSPACE". I'll offer him a deal to be able to make a good profit....But I'll laugh real hard !! 

  • Gary Herndon

    Josh, ur an idiot. For the last 3 months,Myspace in Classic form (As Timberlake & Vanderhook Call it), has been MASS DELETING Myspace User Accounts by the thousands every day;it all started just before Thanksgiving 2012. And the worst of the Mass Deletions started the last week of Jan. 2013, No longer are the deletions just private personal accounts but ALL USER ACCOUNTS which includes Music Profiles,Comedians etc,., No Josh, the current Myspace for Social Networking REALLY SUCKS. I tried to tell News Corp & The Vanderhooks how to turn Myspace around so it would make a profit & resume its popularity, but corporate jerks never want to listen to real facts. No longer does Myspace see 70 million and that number was from where News Corp purchased it. A message for Justin ---> You Suck !!

  • Mike

    Very true Gary! I witnessed the mass deletion of even my old accounts that had millions of friends on them all. You are so right on this! Ive been one of the original Myspacers to start up a profile when my friend ID #'s: (URL) were 1400 , 2377, and a few others I refuse to mention out of fear of jealous retaliation by viewers but I have always loved MySpace and stood by them, even when I knew deep down they had major issues along the way. I was in Tom Andersons top friends on his first page of friends for the longest time even! He never shouldve sold it =( The new owners back then should have left it alone and made no more changes in 2008 when it was at an all-time high. I still operate over 10 profiles there with a total of over 1,000,000 friends. Most of which have not logged onto their profiles in years by the way! Look, I still love the site and will give the new MySpace a chance but I have to play devils advocate for a second and I think it is hurting in such a huge way. I dont want it to! But unless the new change can win back users it is doomed. I hate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and a few others but I still love MySpace =) Still have my license plate on my car.... MYSPACE. Id love to see a comeback success story cause in this crazy world of social media that has a shelf life of about 7 years each, MySpace making a huge comeback would really be a refreshing iconic story! -Mike 

  • Josh Bentley Hayes

    I think the site is great! I've never felt so empowered on a social network to connect with people around one of the things that I love the most. Music. The design feels futuristic. Even without a couple of independents Myspace still boasts music rights with every major label. Of Merlins list only a few of them have I ever even heard before. Myspace is doing just fine. haha. I think people forget that even with the current amount of web traffic that they're getting they're still the most visited streaming music site on the internet. Over 70 million visitors world wide. 

  • iRockChick

    the new myspace blows even more than the original! justin couldnt even save it sadly.

  • Will Beamen

    new mypace gets blown by rock chicks constantly...in fact, many of them rely on myspace for self worth.  i find hilarious that people say 'it blows'...the design is beautiful....maybe you should upgrade from an AOL browser.