Does Rupert Murdoch Own your MySpace Content?

The Register reports on shifting MySpace terms of service which could mean that content posted by teenagers today might show up on the front page of the New York Post 10 years from now.

Originally, the MySpace ToS granted the website a limited license that give the it non-exclusive rights to use the material users display there, but only while they keep it there. If a user deletes the data, MySpace no longer has any rights to it (if they happened to keep an archived copy). But soon after MySpace was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire News Corporation last year, the ToS were changed to indicate that “Content posted by you may remain on the servers after you have removed the content from the services, and retains the rights to those copies.”

That means that the photo of a user’s “youthful exuberance” posted to MySpace and deleted 10 years earlier would be owned by Murdoch, put on the front pages of his tabloids, or sold to the highest bidder. Diary entries could be sold as movie rights, and so on.

There is good news: Upon noticing this change in Terms, activists from places like voiced concern:

“I want to bring this to the attention of the 65M+ (MySpace) users, as many I feel are perhaps not aware of these very different terms, especially band recordings, or young teens who post content that may come back to bite them in later years.”

Perhaps as a result of these concerns, MySpace has reverted the ToS back to the original language.


  1. Pingback: Privacy Digest: Privacy News (Civil Rights, Encryption, Free Speech, Cryptography)
  2. Yes, you retain copyright, but by posting to MySpace, you grant them a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute your content. Based on how the TOS is currently written, this license is limited to the “MySpace services” and terminates if you remove the content from MySpace. The concern noted above was with an earlier version of the TOS which had granted a license broader than just on MySpace services and which continued even if you removed the content.

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