Interesting story from MySpace today where Barack Obama supporter Joe Anthony who had been running a successful MySpace site for Barack suddenly found out that his space was actually Barack’s.
The MySpace site, which Joe Anthony started 2 ½ years ago, is something that the Barack camp had been ok with. In fact according to the AP story with the Obama team, which worked with Anthony on the content and even had the password to make changes themselves.
Problems arose when the Senator’s Presidential aspirations started to gain momentum and the campaign became concerned about an outsider having control of the content so the campaign told Anthony they wanted him to turn over the MySpace site to them.
Selling domain names is a common practice, but I am not aware of someone selling a MySpace site. Joe Anthony looked at the 160,000 friends that he had gathered (about four times more than what ant over campaign has), which offer a tremendous marketing and grassroots database and priced his site at $39,000 or $0.24 a friend. Remember, this was a site that Anthony had been running for 2 ½ years.
The Obama campaign said no to the price, and instead turned to MySpace for help and they took the MySpace account away from Anthony and gave it to the Obama campaign. Anthony referred The Associated Press to his MySpace blog, where he has written that he is heartbroken that the Obama campaign was “bullying” him out of the page he built. He said the candidate has lost his vote.
This story has a lot of long-term implications for MySpace. One is that, as a MySpace user, you do not own the MySpace URL , the way that you own a domain name. So that even if a bigger corporate site wants your URL, the precedent has been set that they can take it from you. So all those people and companies with great URL like http://www.myspace.com/smallbusinessloans who have invested time and effort developing their brand on MySpace can see that all wiped out overnight.
This is a terrible precedent from MySpace and it doesn’t say much for the Barack Obama campaign either.