MySpace has a deal with Gracenote, a company that provides technology to identify copyrighted materials, to help it police its site for illegal uploads on MySpace pages. Gracenote is also known for providing the database that identifies users' music for Apple's
I've seen a few articles floating around here and there recently, discussing how some teens are fleeing MySpace for various reasons. These include boredom, social pressure, uncomfortable or even scary situations (think stalkers, con artists, or other sketchy encounters), or even the invasion of privacy they feel upon realizing their parents and teachers are signing on and monitoring their pages. Facebook (recently rumored to be eyed by Yahoo!
Meanwhile, copyright is a controversial issue these days. There's a legitimate argument that playing a little bit fast and loose with copyright has helped make some sites -- and their content -- increasingly popular.
I think corporations that take the hard-line approach run the risk of alienating their most coveted potential customers -- teens, techies, and early adopters who are all about a new way of consuming content (a way that also helps popularize content through viral means). It wouldn't be the first time media companies have shot themselves in a foot this way, but one lame foot might keep them back in the race to the Net's next hot thing.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.