MySpace: Why We Block Widgets

MySpace PR has replied to our request for comment on the Imeem blockage that we reported over the weekend. Julie Henderson, SVP Corporate Communications at Fox Interactive (MySpace’s parent company), says:

If a widget violates our TOS, we block them. Breaches would include any person, widget or software that violates copyright, poses security risks, distributes pornography or engages in commercial activity. Commercial activity includes selling ads on a MySpace page through their widget or software.

In the instance of Revver specifically, we told them we were going to block them if they continued to sell ads on our pages. They refused to stop selling ads on our pages – so we blocked them. No mystery there.

Also, we have no plans – current or future – to charge a “toll.” Third party widget providers just need to follow our terms of service…

There is still the matter of that statement made by Peter Chernin, COO of News Corp, last year: “If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flickr, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace.” For now, MySpace is saying they have no plans to charge widget providers for distribution rights on their site. But it is clear that if they can find an excuse to ban them, they will.