With music at the centerpiece of MySpace's recent relaunch (investor Justin Timberlake intends to bring the site's sexy back), the company is now coming under fire from UK agency Merlin who claims that MySpace relaunched without a license to feature music from several of its independent artists.
Merlin, an U.K.-based agency that represents many independent record labels, says Myspace is using the music of its artists without permission. The group used to have a deal with the old MySpace and its MySpace Music service, but the agreement expired over a year ago.
A MySpace spokesperson did, however, note that music from Merlin artists like Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend was "likely" uploaded by individual users, assuring that the site would remove songs when requested.
But Merlin CEO Charles Caldas is not pleased. "I don't see ignorance as a justification for piracy," he said. "If you're offering music, without permission, that belongs to a copyright holder in a commercial environment, the onus is on you, the business, to make sure those rights are cleared."
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