The recently revamped Myspace has made some noise recently for a couple of reasons. On the plus side, the one-time social network leader attracted a lot of attention when co-owner Justin Timberlake launched his new single, “Suit & Tie,” on the site last week. Music is a big part of the new Myspace (as it was for the old version). But while the Timberlake launch was a PR coup, Myspace is also taking heat for some allegedly unauthorized music on the site.


Indie rights music licensor Merlin announced that they have discovered unlicensed music by labels that Merlin represent on the site. According to Hypebot, some of the unlicensed tracks were uploaded by the bands themselves and most of the rest were uploaded by users. MySpace says that they have consistently alerted offending posters and have had no issues removing unlicensed songs from the site. Still, Merlin is planning a legal response.

Despite the controversy, Myspace is soldiering on. While traffic is up – out of curiosity, if nothing else – advertising is not. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that this is a conscious strategy. The old Myspace was cluttered with advertising, so the new owners, Specific Media, have decided to downplay ads on the new version – for the moment. Read more about the Myspace strategy here.