Billy Bragg vs MTV Flux Spat Continues

He does love a ruckus. Billy Bragg appears to have given MTV Flux’ terms and conditions a good fisking, highlighting some selective copying and pasting by Nayem Syed who insisted that MTV does not grab artists’ rights. This time round, Bragg’s spotted that Syed omitted the word ‘whilst’ when defending MTV’s terms:
“By uploading or sending any material to us, whilst you continue to retain ownership of such material and may continue to use the content outside the website, you thereby grant to us an irrevocable, unconditional, worldwide, royalty free license to use such material or any part of it in perpetuity in any and all media and in any manner we may determine in our sole discretion.”
Bragg repeated that this sounds like MTV can use your content for free once it’s uploaded. He points to comment by music lawyer Alexander Ross on that he thinks Bragg is right. “It is a one way street. As soon as you upload content, you grant MTV the right to do whatever they like with the content in perpetuity for free. And I can’t see any right of withdrawal.”
But MTV Flux aside, Bragg’s concern is the wider relationship between creators and consumers on new media platforms. He said the bottom line should be that any proprietary causes all begin with the unambiguous statement that the right to exploit original material belongs solely with the creator. Secondly, that rights claimed by host companies should be explained in parenthesis, and thirdly that agreements should be terminated as soon as material is removed from a site.
We wait to see what MTV Flux makes of that.
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This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.