MySpace marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as a place of freedom. A place where anyone with an idea can start a business. This happened when News Corp bought MySpace. News Corp controls large media segments, Harper Collins (books), the most viewed news channel, Fox News, and over twenty five newspapers.
Their first old-school business maneuver happened with YouTube. YouTube attracted users by letting them post video in their profiles. MySpace saw this trend and disabled YouTube videos on profiles immediately. They also launched their own copycat video service. After large user outcry they restored video, but disabled users from clicking on the video to visit it’s page at YouTube.
Besides blocking videos, News Corp has also sued YouTube. Unreleased episodes of the show “24” where uploaded onto YouTube. It’s understandable that Fox wants to protect its content, but the reason for this lawsuit is because traditional media wants to shut down new competitors.
MySpace can be seen as the new Yahoo!, it is becoming a full featured portal. The only problem is MySpace is owned by a mega company that is over fifty years old and only knows about monopoly. Yahoo! was founded by college students, who had more liberal views on the world. Yahoo! does censor content in China, but so has Newscorp. Shortly before News Corp was to buy a Chinese company, they decided to not release a book that documented China’s human rights abuses.
MySpace will also be unrolling a “new, innovational” service that allows users to sell their music. The problem is there are already sites that allow this, like SoundClick. Such sites will have a hard time competing with this service.
It’s unfortunate what has become out of MySpace, it’s to bad a non-traditional company like Google, couldn’t have bought it. The only way to fight this change is for the people to stop using other features of MySpace like video, and it’s music store.