Social network Facebook has disabled widgets from music-sharing site Project Playlist at the behest of the music industry, several days after rival site MySpace did the same. The reason? The user-uploaded music on Project Playlist that doesn't have industry sanction.
"The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) initially contacted Facebook last summer requesting the removal of the Project Playlist application for copyright violation, and recently reopened those communications," a statement from Facebook read. "We have forwarded the RIAA's letters to Project Playlist so it can work directly with that organization and music labels on a resolution. In the meantime, the application must be removed to comply with the Facebook Platform Terms of Service. Our hope and expectation is that the parties can resolve their disagreements in a manner that satisfies the developer and copyright holder, that continues to offer a great experience to music fans, and that doesn't discourage other developers from using (Facebook's) Platform to share their creativity and test new ideas."
Project Playlist has struck a deal with Sony BMG but has outstanding lawsuits with most other big players in the music industry, including the RIAA. The fast-growing start-up--it has 40 million monthly users, per ComScore--has gained most of its traction by encouraging users to embed its widgets on social networks like Facebook and MySpace, so bans from the big social network could be a critical blow.
But ironically for Facebook, Project Playlist recently brought on its former chief operating officer, Owen Van Natta, as CEO. Part of his job, the blogosphere assumes, is to ink those crucial deals with the music industry.