Fox Drops Ban On Universal Music; Was Reaction To Still Unsettled MySpace Lawsuit

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The WSJ reports that News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) has lifted a ban against using almost any music controlled by Universal Music Group in its movies and TV shows. The ban against incorporating the music was imposed shortly after Universal Music sued MySpace in November 2006, implemented at the behest of president and COO Peter Chernin, according to the Journal. Universal claimed MySpace was encouraging piracy even though the social net was in the midst of adding tools to try to curb copyright infringement. The suit has yet to be settled; the suggestion here is that is was more harmful to Fox producers than Universal.

WSJ: “It was Mr. Chernin who gave the directive to lift the ban, according to a person close to the Fox TV studio. People close to both companies suggested that the decision to reintroduce Universal’s music to Fox’s movies and TV shows was part of a broader discussion the companies were having as a way of improving relations. These same people said, though, that the lifting of the ban doesn’t necessarily pave the way to a settlement of the lawsuit.”

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