Edwyn Collins banned from sharing his own songs
The music industry’s crackdown on illegal-file sharing is hitting artists themselves, after Edwyn Collins was banned from uploading his own songs to MySpace.
Social-networking sites often use software to bar users from uploading copyrighted material, through fear of attracting the attention of record labels’ legal departments.
However, the blanket ban has had the unfortunate side-effect of barring Collins from uploading his own hits.
Collins’s wife and manager, Grace Maxwell, was thwarted when she attempted to upload the star’s hit, A Girl Like You, to his MySpace page – even though the Scottish singer owns the copyright to all his own music.
“It would not upload,” Maxwell writes on Edwyn Collins’s MySpace blog. “I was told Edwyn was attempting to breach a copyright and he was sent to the Orwellian MySpace copyright re-education page. Quite chilling, actually.”
Maxwell was eventually told that Warner Bros were laying claim to the track. She claims to have spoken to a Warner lawyer, who promised to deal with the situation, but to no avail. Meanwhile, MySpace continues to refuse the track. “That is because MySpace is not equipped to deal with the notion that anyone other than a major can claim a copyright,” she said.
Ironically, she claims that record labels are actually ripping Collins off by selling his music without permission. “A Girl Like You is available FOR SALE all over the internet. Not by Edwyn, by all sorts of respectable major labels whose licence to sell it ran out years ago and who do not account to him.
“Attempting to make them cease and desist would use up the rest of my life. Because this is what they do and what they’ve always done. And it’s not just majors. If I had a fiver for all the dodgy indie labels we’ve been involved with I’d have £35 or thereabouts,” she adds.