Update #2 at 12.35pm, Friday: A Fox Interactive spokesperson just emailed us this statement: “The toll booth rumor is categorically untrue. We have no plans, current or future, to charge people for widgets. We are working on a filter for security reasons – so there may have been a bug due to that…if so, it’s fixed now and working – no more quicktime worm or flash probs from here on out.”
Updated at 4.22 pm, Thursday:A couple of days ago Robert Young hinted that MySpace might be looking to block-and-tackle-and squeeze some of the widget makers in an effort to bolster its bottom line. Well, looks like the day has arrived sooner that we thought. A senior executive from a very prominent widget maker just emailed us and pointed out that:
So as of this morning, new embed tags to MySpace do not work. Photobucket, Youtube, etc… Their site might be broken, but there have been rumors for weeks that they are thinking of blocking everyone. This might be it, or just a test.. “
Our instinct on this one is that it is a test, and FIM is testing how far they can push the widget makers. Saber rattling is the word, but we would appreciate your feedback in realtime. If FIM does decide to erect a toll booth, well the widget economy is going to have its first fiscal crisis. We will follow-up with FIM and find out.
Update: We emailed FIM but have not heard back from them as yet. Mashable reported that there were some problems with the Flash-based widgets, but they have resumed working. Brad Greenspan, one of the original founders of MySpace is speaking out this very public muscle flexing. He is involved in a legal tangle with FIM. Here is what Greenspan had to say:
Anyone that understands MySpace and the internet space in general realizes MySpace is a monopoly. A great article identifying this came out this week by John Barrett a director of research at Park Associates. The media needs to wake up, shake off the spell of News Corp and realize that if we don’t educate the public on the abusive practices of News Corp and MySpace, then everyone who uses sites and services online can be considerably harmed.