MySpace came under fire at Midem yesterday as indie labels discussed the platform’s decision not to renew its licensing agreement with Merlin, yet still host tracks from the indie association’s labels.
Earlier this month, Merlin’s Charles Caldas pointed out that MySpace no longer had the right to host tracks from more than 100 of its member labels. A spokesperson for the online platform at the time said that any remaining tracks were likely uploaded by users and could only be removed with takedown requests from owners.
AIM CEO Alison Wenham called the move “arrogant” saying that there was an implication that the indie sector should see platforms with major label deals such as Myspace as a promotional opportunity and little more.
“There is an impression, a complacence and I would suggest an arrogance which is offensive, that you do deals with the majors, and the independent sector should be somehow gratefulfor the promotional value that these services will apparently bring to your artists and to you,” she said.
“It’s absolutely repugnant to the spirit of cooperation and the balancing of interests commercially that this should have been Myspace’s response.”
“I am sick and tired of seeing services that come to market, do deals with majors because they have to, then come to independent labels and expect that we will expect secondary treatment, or promotional benefit,” she added. “This has to come to an end, and it has to come to an end here and now.”
Glassnote Records’ Daniel Glass was also on the panel. With one of his label’s acts Mumford & Sons having one of the most played tracks on Myspace. Glass said, “I think it’s a sense of arrogance in this company. We’re just in shock over this.”
“I will go to management and the artist, and we’ll be discussing this by tomorrow,” he said. “This is a bad one. This is a real bad one.”
Beggars’ Martin Mills offered a statement via a joint AIM, A2IM, AIR and WIN press release saying, “We would expect a service that is selling itself on the discovery and promotion of new musical talent would understand the value of the music that independent labels release.
“We would also expect that a service that is jointly owned by the major labels would respect our rights rather than hide behind the DMCA in exactly the same manner as pirates and companies like Grooveshark.”