MySpace Will Purge Copyrighted Music Using ‘Audio Fingerprinting’

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MySpace.com will use “audio fingerprinting” technology to block users from uploading copyright music to the social networking site, the company said Monday.

MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., said it will review all music files uploaded by community members to their online profiles. The files will be run through a music database from Gracenote Inc.

“MySpace is staunchly committed to protecting artists’ rights, whether those artists are on major labels or are independent acts,” said Chris DeWolfe, MySpace chief executive and co-founder.

The company said users who repeatedly attempt to upload copyright music files will be permanently barred from the site.

Online sites such as MySpace and YouTube have come under fire from major record labels who have sued in some cases to prevent copyright music from being included as the soundtrack to a user-generated content.

Several record labels recently announced licensing deals with YouTube, which has chosen to share ad revenue with record labels rather than filter music itself.

The challenge of policing its users’ music choices is just one issue facing MySpace, which has skyrocketed in popularity over the past year.

The social networking site must address concerns that it will morph from a user-controlled site to a corporate tool that News Corp. uses to push the company’s movies and TV shows. MySpace also has been grappling with frequent spam attacks and has had to take steps to limit invitations from bogus “friends” sent to thousands of users at a time.

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