MySpace May Be Satan

Seriously, let’s chat about MySpace. (And no, I don’t mean MY Myspace, I just mean MySpace in general.) Have you noticed how it’s all the sudden everywhere? These things happen fairly regularly… something is introduced, co-opted by a small group, spreads via word-of-mouth, reaches epic proportions, and then, magically and suddenly it seems, it’s everywhere all at once. I saw a MySpace compilation CD in Wal-Mart last week.

And the music aspect is something I want to hit on (in a non-sexual way.) I spent some time reading through their Terms of Service (T.O.S.) a few weeks ago. You know, that big, long list of rules and regulations that you oh-so-carefully labor over before you say “I accept” and start using a website? It started to scare me, and then my friend Charlie posted about it, too, so I thought it might be worthwhile to talk about. Especially the same little nugget Charlie posted on:

By posting Content on any public area of, you automatically grant as well as represent and warrant that you have the right to grant to, an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully paid, worldwide license to use, copy, perform, display, and distribute such information and content to and that has the right to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such information and content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. (emphasis mine)

So, in layman’s terms, if you post it on MySpace, they own it. Forever. And you don’t. They can sell it, or do anything else with it, and you’ve given them the right to. Oh, and by the way, if they DO, they get the royalties for it, not you. Your property ceases to be your property according to the MySpace T.O.S.

Granted, if your intellectual property (music, photos, words, etc.) was copyrighted prior to posting on MySpace, you MIGHT have a case, should they ever decide to start enforcing their T.O.S. and using your work for their purposes, but even so… this is scary stuff considering the volume of users who (like most of us) just agree to terms online without knowing what they are.

Suckers. All of us.