My MySpace page
Posted on April 26, 2006 Posted by John Scalzi 14 Comments
I made a crack about MySpace yesterday, but it also reminded me to let all y’all know that I actually have a MySpace profile, largely so I can stream a few of my music tracks. I made it in January but pretty much forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago, when people started sending me friend requests. Then I figured I might as well build it out some. So now it’s got the streaming music and all. I don’t plan to do a whole lot on the page — the blog there just links back to here — but if you have a MySpace profile, feel free to send me a friend request. I’ll pretty much approve them all.
It seems like the new “in” thing to do is bash MySpace, but it really is a great way to catch up with old friends and make contacts.
People forget that any community is what you make of it. My corner of the Space is full of great people.
One thing: check out the Terms of Service. Apparently there’s a clause that claims copyright and trademark rights to things that users post, including art, writing, images, etc. It also extends that right after you delete your profile from MySpace. So basically long after you’re done with the Space, the company still has the rights to your work.
Are you sure, uhura? Bands like OK Go have their songs and videos up there. I can’t see the average rapacious record company letting their artists build a site on MySpace if that was the case.
I seem to recall Microsoft trying to pull the same sort of thing a few years back with Hotmail… anything intellectual property-claimable you sent through Hotmail automatically became MS’s IP. If memory serves, everybody raised a serious stink about it and MS withdrew the clause from their TOS. If MySpace is indeed trying to make such a grab… risky gambit, I daresay.
Ahh, yep, here it is (from the Register, 2001):
And here’s the follow-up, describing the subsequent hemhorrage of Hotmail users.
Ha! Block me now, one-link-per-post limit! ;-)
The music I’m streaming there I have no financial ambitions for, so it’s not much of a concern, even if MySpace’s agreement reads as such. However, boilerplate of the “we own anything you ever do until the end of time in all possible forms” type is why (among other reasons) I have my own domain.
I checked the TOS. IANAL, but here goes:
By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content, messages, text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, profiles, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) on or through the Services, you 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. This license will terminate at the time you remove such Content from the Services.
So it’s not so much that you give up all your moral rights to your own content, but that you give MySpace the right to store and display the content you place there. They don’t have exclusive rights to the content, and they don’t have to pay you for the privilege of displaying it.
So far, this seems fair enough.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a back-up or residual copy of the Content posted by you may remain on the MySpace.com servers after you have removed the Content from the Services, and MySpace.com retains the rights to those copies.
These seems to be CYA in case they don’t promptly dump the copies of your content from your server once you leave. Note that they are claiming the right to hold on to these specific copies, rather than claiming the right to the original content.
You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Services or otherwise have the right to grant the license set forth in this section, and (ii) the posting of your Content on or through the Services does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights or any other rights of any person. You agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owing any person by reason of any Content posted by you to or through the Services.
They don’t want you posting other people’s content, and if you do, you have to pay the costs.
So I don’t read this at all as the company retaining the rights to your work forever, but as I said, IANAL.
The full TOS is here.
I use http://music.download.com
They have started up an area of Spoken Word also, and you can put up podcasts, audio short stories, etc. up there.
I’ve had about 60+ listens on mine since the end of Feb. and they give you the option to download or stream files.
I’m sure the reason MySpace gets so much bad ink is that it’s always described in the news media as that teen hangout where all the creepy pedos go to stalk jailbait. Naturally it’s much more than that.
Here’s my new page, focusing not at all on my SF reviewing hobbies but my nascent film work. Fun so far.
As a reader who looks forward to buying your upcoming book on writing, perhaps you would be willing to entertain a writing/publishing question.
What do you think about the impact on hard copy sales of having the complete text of a book available for free online? I know the background concerning your novel, but what do you think the impact would be on a nonfiction book? For example: a history book or a reference book about cats?
Your insights into writing and publishing are always so–well, insightful. Any comment from you would be appreciated.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in, researched, knew more about this issue than I did – and was willing to share.
My networking page, for anyone who wants to visit: http://www.myspace.com/tellherthisfk
HEY WELL HOW ARE HOWS LIFE TREATING YOU KNOW WELL TEXT ME LATER WHEN EVER YOU HAVE TIME
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