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Recently revamped social network Myspace is facing accusations that it’s using music from a handful of small independent labels without permission, reports the New York Times.

Last week, new Myspace owners Specific Media launched the new version of the site to the public, with help from minority investor Justin Timberlake. Rather than competing with social giants like Facebook and Twitter, the new version of Myspace focuses on cultivating new members interested in both mainstream and underground music groups. The site boasts a music library of 50 million songs — larger than any other online music service available — that is mostly made up of artists on small record labels or without representation.

However, digital rights group Merlin, which represents over a thousand independent labels across the globe, said Myspace is using many songs without permission. Myspace initially had a contract to stream music represented by Merlin’s clients, but it opted not to renew when it ended in 2011.

Myspace also said that if any music from the labels represented by Merlin remain on the service, it’s because users uploaded them, according to NYT’s report.

We’ve reached out to Merlin for specific examples of music used without permission, and it also asked Myspace about its process of removing music content that’s been uploaded without permission. We’ll update this post with any new information we find.

Music photo via olly/Shutterstock


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