Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MySpace or yours? Or ... theirs?

A real-world friend (well, truth be told he's more a friend of my brother, but that's by the by) recently sent me a link to his MySpace page.

Now, I don't know much about MySpace. I read bits of a Vanity Fair article about it a few months ago, and about the same time I also read about it in Kerrang! magazine. The latter made it sound quite cool; the former made it sound a bit like a place for getting laid.

Anyway, a few days ago, I decided to take five minutes to set up a MySpace account. I didn't know why then, and I still don't know why now. Wife, who had read more of that VF article than I had, took this as a sign that I was looking to get laid by all and sundry. As many of you know, she is Italian, and those Italians have that passion-and-jealousy thing going on, and I don't mind that. Mind you, she thought the same thing when I started blogging, but now watch her go! She sees that it's just good fun and a bit creative, too. I just hope the missus doesn't end up thinking like Fall Out Boy: "I liked you a lot better before you became a MySpace whore".


So I set up my profile and put a little linky thing to this blog. At the very least maybe I'll pick up a bit more traffic, right? And people use it to stick their music up and get people hearing it, and since I've got a wealth of my own recordings gathering dust here, I thought I could - maybe - put some of those on my MySpace space.

But then my NUJ magazine and Freelance newsletter dropped through my letterbox. Wife looked at it first. Then she said, "If you're considering putting music on MySpace, you probably ought to read this first."

So I did. I don't even know quite what to make of it all, but it doesn't seem good. Whatever, I just thought I'd share, because clearly there are some dodgy copyright and ownership issues that people ought to be aware of. Click here to see what I read. Essentially, anything on MySpace is fair game for the owners of MySpace to sell on to third parties. As a user of MySpace, you grant them licence to do whatever they want with your work. Scary.

UPDATE: MySpace has changed its terms and conditions, seemingly in part due to pressure from Billy Bragg, hero that he is. The revised contract includes the following words: "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." Bravo, Billy Bragg!



Blogger Kate said...

Thanks for the tip off about myspace!

Ironically, I was reading your wife's blog the other day.

11 July, 2006 20:52  
Blogger Camie Vog said...

Didn't take you long to find my sorry ass over there....

11 July, 2006 22:01  
Blogger Sir Stewart Wallace said...

I have a Myspace thing too, but don't particularly use it.
I don't really know what to make of it, to be honest.
feel free to add me, or whatever the fuck it is you do with myspace.

11 July, 2006 23:47  
Blogger Adam said...

My roommate speaks highly of High Tension (Switchblade Romance.. wow I like that title much better) I've yet to see it though, I really want to.

And yes, I didn't think wolf creek was scary - I've never really been frightened by a "scary movie" - I'm still hoping for one to do it to me ha.

12 July, 2006 00:48  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I think if you are writing anything online you take the risk of someone else scooping it up. Part of me is fine with that, I got lots more where that came from...but I don't talk about my scripts online...or particular ideas. I know a smarmy producer who ripped off a girls myspace diary for a script. She tried to sue. it was bad enough he slept with her, but when he ripped off her storylines on her blog she tried to take him to task. No go.

If you have the most flimsiest of copyrights on your music, like mailed to yourself etc you will be protected. Otherwise...wellI dunno.

I like your idea for maybe attracting traffic to this blog, could be good.

I think you should look into selling, loaning transcribing etc... and moving your music archives into independant movie makers. You will get credit, some royalties and expose your music in a loving atmosphere. Independant film makers are always looking for cool music that isn't famous( you know, expensive) for their sound tracks.

I am not sure if I could help you with this idea, but you could email me if you want and I could check out venues to connect with film makers. I know off the top of my head most major cities have alternative film co-ops.

12 July, 2006 01:31  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

I occasionally post music on my blog.....but I figure it is for educational purposes only, and who listens to the crap I like anyway?....it's not like some Mexican border band with wailing acordion nortenos is making anybody any money anyway.......so far, I haven't received any letters from lawyers....

12 July, 2006 01:39  
Blogger ~ erika gabrielle said...

what's popular here in the phil is friendster and multiply. i've also got a myspace account but i don't log-in as frequently as i do with the others i've mentioned. :D

i was shocked when i saw some of the people's profiles! it's like they were on ebay or something. i totally get what the term "myspace whore" really means now. hehehe.

another thing, thanks for replying to my question about jazz! i thought you were somehow eclectic with your taste in music, but it's okayy! thanks for replying, anyway! :)

12 July, 2006 08:35  
Blogger Tanya said...

Okay. My space not looking too good then. I best warn Godless Ralphie, though, as he's put some music up.

12 July, 2006 11:53  
Blogger Kieran said...

They can try stealing but I'll break their legs. That'll teach em.

Visit www.myspace.com/kieranmittontheshadowcabinet to see why I am in no danger of such an outrange. Alternatively, don't.

12 July, 2006 14:24  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Kate: No worries!

CV: No, sursprisingly it didn't.

BB: I've requested that you be my friend now, so now if you don't accept that'll make you some kind of MySpace tease, I guess.

Adam: Switchblade Romance was one of those very few films that really made me feel quite ill in places! I've not seen Ichi the Killer yet, but I suspect that might too...

13 July, 2006 07:50  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Candy: You're absolutely right, and I am reasonably comfortable with that. After all, all of us are taking copyrighted images from left, right, and centre ourselves to pretty up our own blogs.

I'm not truly convinced (and I'm not just being modest) that much of my solo work is worthy for public consumption, so that's another reason that I might have hesitated in posting any! Much of it was recorded as demos so that one day I might be able to share my ideas with people in my next band. But that never happened. I still think one of them is perfect for the Eurovision Song Contest, though!

Seriously, thanks for the offer. If and when I ever decide to do something like that, I will definitely speak to you first.

13 July, 2006 07:57  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Mr A: Like I say, we all "borrow", don't we? So it would be a tad hypocritical for me to bitch about being borrowed from...

Erika: I've not even looked at that many profiles, but I can only imagine! I am eclectic... I just don't dig jazz, daddy-o!

Tanya: I guess one just makes their peace with it and does it anyway.

Kieran: Leg-breaking is always an option, of course.

13 July, 2006 08:00  
Blogger Aidan said...

That's why I'm subverting the system from within, by posting such execrable 'music', as shoddily recorded as conceived, so that any theft would be its own worst punishment. Mwahahahaha...

13 July, 2006 13:56  

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