MySpace To Bar Members From Posting Copyrighted Tracks

The social networking site MySpace.com has started vetting the music files uploaded by members for copyright violations, the company said Monday.

In a deal that rolled out several days ago, audio files submitted by members are now being screened against 10 million tracks maintained by music database company Gracenote.

Tracks that turn out to be owned by Universal Music Group--and that were not uploaded by someone the company has authorized to do so--will be excluded from the site, a MySpace spokesman said. The spokesman added that MySpace is talking with other major music labels about similar arrangements.

The Gracenote deal was announced just several days after Universal Music Group sued video-sharing companies Grouper Networks and Bolt Media for copyright infringement based on music videos uploaded by the companies' users. Universal Music CEO Doug Morris previously threatened to sue both MySpace and video-sharing site YouTube for copyright infringement. (Universal and YouTube reached a revenue-sharing agreement announced the same day that Google agreed to purchase YouTube for $1.65 billion.)

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The MySpace spokesman called the new deal "a proactive move on our part," adding that MySpace has engaged in ongoing discussions with Universal Music for a while.

Gracenote also provides similar screening technology to other companies, including Nielsen SoundScan and Snocap, said Jim Hollingsworth, senior vice president, sales and marketing at Gracenote.

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