Edwyn Collins, a rock star of some repute in Scotland and who was a Top 40 staple for about three weeks in North America 20-odd years ago, has been trying to stream his first hit single on MySpace. He hasn't been having much success, reports U.K. media outlet The Guardian
Collins owns the rights to his 1994 Iggy Pop ripoff A Girl Like You, but MySpace begs to differ, saying that record label Warner owns the rights. Collins' manager/wife, Grace Maxwell, says Warner's claim to the rights expired years ago. Not only that, according to Maxwell, but the label and others are selling music online that they no longer hold the rights to.
“MySpace are not equipped to deal with the notion that anyone other than a major [label] can claim a copyright,” Maxwell complains.
It's reminiscent of possibly the most absurd moment in copyright. Sixties band Creedence Clearwater Revival was signed to a ludicrous deal with Fantasy Records, which bought all the rights to the band's catalogue. Years later, frontman John Fogerty was sued by Fantasy Records because, on his debut solo album, he sounded too much like John Fogerty. The legal finagling went on for years before a deal was worked out.