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MySpace Founder Takes On News Corp: Alleging "Anti-Competitive Behaviour"
the man who helped launch MySpace in 2003 but left to start a new company

 2:03 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

The suit was filed last week with the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, and alleges that MySpace has broken antitrust laws by censoring competitor services.

Greenspan's new company, LiveUniverse, owns a number of internet properties, including social networking site Stickam.com and YouTube competitor Vidilife.com. He alleges that MySpace blocks users from even mentioning Stickam.com and Vidilife.com in their profiles.

He says that "any attempts by users to type the url of sites like 'stickam.com' or 'vidilife.com' into a [MySpace] blog or profile [are replaced] with '......' ".




 10:51 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Looks like Rupe learned a thing or two from his China connections.

Interesting that they previously blocked YouTube and other big guys, too.


 10:53 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds familiar. But I wonder if McDonald's would mind me setting up a sandwich board for my hamburger joints in their restaurants.


 11:29 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Would MacDonalds ban you talking about your hamburger joints in their restaurants?


 11:40 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Would MacDonalds ban you talking about your hamburger joints in their restaurants?

Totally not! They band anything to do with "salad bars".

Joking aside, I think Myspace have a right to do what they want, is it not they're website? Can they not do as they please with it?


 11:57 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Up to a point.

But if they offer a members profile that invites people to list their favorites or whatever, is it right that members are allowed certain favorites and not others?

The idea of these social sites is for people to be able to discuss what they like / hate etc. - seems a little small minded to stamp on the little guy.

Mind you, he got a few cents when he sold it, and I guess he's getting good publicity by whining - I never heard of his site before today ;)

But I always support anyone who attacks Rupe; it's a Pavlov's Dog Thang.


 1:37 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Looks like the best way to get unsolicited and non-reciprocal links for a site is to sue a big company and then spend a few hundred bucks on press releases. Some of the press releases will sneak into news sites with direct links to your sites and some press releases will generate traffic instantly :)

Almost every forum or site with user generated content that I know of delete/replace/edit links to some of its competitors. What is wrong with that?


 2:19 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Would MacDonalds ban you talking about your hamburger joints in their restaurants?

If someone was to put a banner up (equal to a direct link) in MacDonalds advertising REAL restaurants I am sure there would be a similar problem.


 2:31 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

But McDonald's niche isn't giving you a "space" that's supposed to reflect each individual customer. Maybe a better "non-internet" analogy would be renting a booth at a flea market and not being allowed to mention any other flea markets at your booth? I'm not going to offer any opinion on whether that's reasonable or not, because I'm not sure, it's just a thought.


 2:45 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

But McDonald's niche isn't giving you a "space" that's supposed to reflect each individual customer.

Well you pay food to sit at a table for x amount of time, is it not like just setting up a big poster advertising burger king?

Im with MySpace, Its They're space. heh.


 3:00 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just a note, it would be a shame for this thread to continue down the straw man (McDonalds) road when the actual subject is so compelling.


 3:28 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

The truth of the matter is that Myspace had terms of use, that are supposed to be read before setting up an account. Not that anybody ever really sits down and reads all of that mumbojumbo (at least, not the average person).
The bottom line on that is that anything where you can set up an account: Yahoo, Google, Myspace, Youtube - all of them have terms of use. This allows them to do pretty much anything that they want, since the users of the service already, supposedly, know the stipulations like not linking to competitors.
If somebody wants to read the terms of use (I didn't, but I assume) and point out that it's nowhere in there, then I would definitly say the Myspace overstepped some bounds.


 3:29 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Many, many communities filter out names of competing sites from posts, profiles, etc. This cuts down on spam and promos - it may occasionally crimp a member's style, but most understand and accept such policies.

Why on earth would a community operator allow promotion of competing sites?

I've done in-person seminars in the past where competitors attempted to register, presumably to try to chat up a few potential clients; same story - I'm not willing to let them promote their business on my nickel.


 4:47 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I got an idea, I'm going to go rent a dedicated server for $300/month and construct a website that provides a service for free.

Oh, and if any of y'all want me to put a link to your website on my site, just let me know, because it would be very small minded of me not to put links on it to _anyone_ that wants me to...

If MySpace Founder guy is hoping to get some great publicity for his new company, kudos to him. If he wants me to take him seriously... puh lez!

And, IMO, any of you who think MySpace should be made to allow... well, pretty much made to allow X, how would you like me telling you what to do with your website?


 5:09 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why on earth would a community operator allow promotion of competing sites?

At least WebmasterWorld is fair - it doesn't allow links to ANY sites ... and not just COMPETING sites ;-)


 5:40 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> "When we started Myspace in 2003, we empowered users by giving them full control over their profile pages," Greenspan said. "News Corp's moves to destroy and limit the freedom MySpace users have enjoyed is analogous to the strategies a dictator would employ after seizing control of a previously free nation."

and when you sold, you sold it. End of story.


 5:45 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

this is common practice.

WebmasterWorld does it. For example, reply to this message and try typing in the name of a popular web developer resource that rhymes with "a fist a fart".

Their name was banned from WebmasterWorld a while ago in reaction to a flood of shill posts and spam (according to BT)


 6:20 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

in a corporate atmosphere there needs not be even the suggestion of free speech. murdoch influenced outlets do not have a history of being open minded, or allowing their readers - now users, to be openmineded.

the model is to establish a paradigm and keep anything opposing it away.
this is why you've never seen cars which run on water, or the joe cell.

(edit: spelling)

[edited by: Jesseo at 6:24 pm (utc) on Nov. 8, 2006]


 9:45 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmmm... is this a trick question/thread? Fake?


BOTH return 10,000+ results on my Goog DC...?

Am I missing some huge part of this story or something?


 11:45 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just did a blog post on MySpace. It is a real complaint

The text "stickam.com" was replaced with ".."

and the url became [.....]

[edited by: Iguana at 11:45 pm (utc) on Nov. 8, 2006]


 9:56 am on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

At the end of the day the poster who mentioned the t's and c's is spot on. Murdoch has always been known to wield influence in as heavy handed way as (just about) legally possible. there will be no difference with myspace over the coming time but where does it stop.

Murdochs media empire influences in a highly personally opinionated way everything from sky TV subscriptions to the popularity of his favourite politicion or celeb. I am surprised his media empire does so well it is so biased towards it's own personal gains.

MySpace legally can be censored if people agree to the t's and c's. however, user generated content being pushed around, not for legal reasons or unsuitable content, but for personal gain of the Murdoch empire is evil, anti competetive and highly right wing behaviour. everything MySpace is not intended to be.

There will always be people that will want to enjoy the service provided in this walled garden but i would imagine the majority of people will wise up and move on to a new area where they are allowed to say what they want in their patch.

I liken it more to your allotment gardening space having its lychees stolen over night :)


 3:38 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

on a related note: It seems there is (really) bad blood between the founders on a personal level. if I hated one forum owner, I'd block him as well. It's very simple.

"Greenspan alleges that the management of the company, and chief executive Richard Rosenblatt in particular, hid vital financial information about MySpace parent Intermix Media's performance in order to convince the shareholders that $580m was a fair price for the business."

"Greenspan released the report on Freemyspace.com. It claims that Intermix chief executive officer Richard Rosenblatt knew that Myspace was well on its way to becoming worth far more than but rushed the sale, misleading shareholders to believe that the company was not worth more, so that he could personally make $20 million."


 7:53 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I ban all my competitors on one of my sites which uses AdSense. I don't want their ads coming up.
The visitor is worth more than the click.


 12:26 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I seem to remember in my younger years... being told that I was not allowed to eat/advertise my burger king meal which I had just purchased across the street in a mcdonalds where all my friends would rather eat...

Final opinion, it's their property - they can do as they please.

natural number

 12:32 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

MySpace is the property of News Corp. They have a right to decide what people post on their property. If they don't comply, they can be asked to leave. Luckily, because of a free market, people can choose to post elsewhere, eventually MySpace would go out of business.


 1:33 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

but it's not fair to Mr Greenspan who wants to piggyback on something he already sold :)

Why doesn't he strike a deal with myspace...maybe pay 20 cents or so a click?


 3:28 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

At least WebmasterWorld has this no hot linking rule. Myspace has the right to not hotlink. It's crazy.


 6:56 pm on Nov 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised by the number of people who say: "hey, it's in the TOS so they can do whatever they want."

That sets a precedence. Can google stop displaying search results that contain Yahoo ads. Sure, if it's in their TOS. Can a hosting company stop you from setting up a hosting review site, sure if it's in the TOS.

A TOS agreement does not supercede all other laws and regulations and let you do as you please. For example, when you park in a lot and pay a fee there is always a sign that says NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE. This does not mean if the owners are negligent an damage occurs to your vehicle you can't sue, and win.

If doing what Myspace does violates anti-trust laws, then it doesnt matter what the TOS says.


 10:13 pm on Nov 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just skim read the posts and picked up this much so far; Greenspan's gonna take on big bad Rupert McMurdoch & McMyspace. Cool. Has any one heard from the Hamburglar.

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