New Corp's MySpace has changed the terms and conditions it offers artists, following a recent protest by UK singer/songwriter, Billy Bragg.
Bragg had removed all his musical material from his MySpace site. He was angry that the service's terms and conditions claimed that once an artist made any content - including original songs - available through the hugely popular service, the ownership passes to MySpace.
"The real problem is the that they can sub-license the content to any company they want and keep the royalties themselves without paying the artist a penny," his representative Sarah wrote.
MySpace has now changed its terms, choosing to drop the contentious copyright claim.
"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," the amended language now states.
Welcoming the change, the artist wrote: "I am very pleased to see that MySpace have changed their terms of agreement from a declaration of their rights into a declaration of our rights as artists, making it clear that, as creators, we retain ownership of our material. Having been adopted by the biggest social networking site on the block, I hope their recognition of the right of the artist to be sole exploiter of their own material now becomes an industry standard because there is much more at stake here than just the terms and conditions of a website."
Bragg continues: "Now that the popularity of downloading has made physical manufacturing and distribution no longer necessary, the next generation of artists will not need to surrender all of their rights in order to get their music into the marketplace. It is therefore crucial that they understand, from the moment that they first post music on the internet, the importance of retaining their long term right to exploit the material that they create."
The artist has also reintroduced his music to his MySpace page.Find - or begin - a discussion of this story in Macworld UK's busy Forums.