MySpace Puts The Hammer Down On Project Playlist

MySpace is getting back into the business of blocking third party widgets, it seems – today they’ve banned embedded music widgets from the fast growing Project Playlist. But unlike previous 2006 and 2007 blocks of iMeem, Photobucket and many others, this time MySpace is doing it under threat of litigation from the major labels.

We first got word from MySpace users that their Playlist widgets are simply vanishing from their MySpace profiles earlier today. When we contacted MySpace they confirmed the ban, noting that they have received infringement notices from “major music companies”:

MySpace is an open platform that welcomes all developers to build rich and legitimate applications for its global community. We take copyright issues very seriously and our goal is to help developers build a substantial business by creating an environment that respects rights holders and protects their content.

MySpace has received notices of infringement about Project Playlist at different times from several of the major music companies currently suing Project Playlist. Per our policy of taking very seriously the requests of rights holders to block access to third party sites that are believed to be infringing, we have evaluated the requests of the major music companies and determined that it is in our best interest not to allow Project Playlist widgets on MySpace, and effective immediately, we will no longer be allowing these widgets within the MySpace platform. Any third party widgets (including any music widgets) are welcome on MySpace so long as they do not include infringing content—we encourage our users to utilize the many legitimate applications found on MySpace and across the Web.

Those major music companies are likely Warner Music, Universal Music Group and EMI, which have been in litigation with Project Playlist since April 2008. This is both a ban and a scrub, meaning users can’t add new widgets and all old widgets are being removed from the site.

Apparently this isn’t the first time the two companies have come to blows. MySpace also blocked Project Playlist earlier this year in March, but the company was able to evade the block with some success.

An industry source also confirms that Facebook has been served with the same notice of infringement. As of now, Playlist is still live on that site.

Project Playlist recently hired former Facebook exec Owen Van Natta as CEO and raised an undisclosed round of financing.

Update: More on how Facebook is handling the infringement notices.