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MySpace Becomes Latest UMG Legal Target

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Universal Music Group has filed a copyright violation lawsuit against social networking juggernaut MySpace.com. The case, filed in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges that MySpace allows its users post to copyrighted soundtracks and music videos on their websites.

It looks like the barrage of copyright litigation targeting social networking websites isn’t going to let up anytime soon.

Universal is seeking $150,000 in damages for each copyrighted song found on a MySpace user profile, which is probably more than Universal artist Ashlee Simpson will see in record sales for the foreseeable future.

Of course, one can’t really blame Universal for trying to protect its own financial interests by blocking the presentation of the label’s content on MySpace pages. After all, I’m sure users are chomping at the bit to feature music from the Brokeback Mountain original motion picture soundtrack on their profiles, right?

Both MySpace and YouTube have come under scrutiny in recent days as distributors are exerting increased legal pressure to negotiate compensation agreements or be faced with the prospect of a long and drawn out litigation process concerning copyrighted content posted by users on these sites.

In this case, however, the issue may not be as much about copyright but perhaps more indicative of the trigger-happy posture that the legal department at Universal Music is taking as of late.

The company has also issued a cease and desist letter to websites that are hosting a video that features Bank of America employees belting out their own rendition of U2′s “One” in celebrating the company’s recent acquisition of MBNA.

John Murrell of Good Morning Silicon Valley advises fans of the band to “be advised that continued humming of U2 melodies will result in further legal action.”

In further news, my legal counsel has informed me that I could be facing potential legal liabilities for my performance of Nelly’s “Country Grammar” at a local karaoke establishment this past weekend.

Who knows, maybe getting sued will give me more “street cred” in the long run.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

MySpace Becomes Latest UMG Legal Target
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  • Johan

    That’s hilarious, outlawed humming, great article.