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Music Industry Issues Take Down Notices to 50 Major Lyrics Sites 281

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the public-does-not-understand dept.
alphadogg writes "A music industry group is warning some 50 website that post song lyrics that they need to be licensed or face the music, possibly in the form of a lawsuit. The National Music Publishers Association said Monday that it sent take-down notices to what it claims are 50 websites that post lyrics to songs and generate ad revenue but may not be licensed to do so. The allegedly infringing sites were identified based on a complicated algorithm developed by a researcher at the University of Georgia." The "complicated algorithm" (basis statistics using Excel and Google) is described in the NMPA's "Undesirable Lyric Website List." Anyone remember lyrics.ch?
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Music Industry Issues Take Down Notices to 50 Major Lyrics Sites

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  • Greed! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Pure and simple.

    • Re: Greed! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:11AM (#45399597)

      Well we all know how much lyrics sites lead to a loss in sales for these companies. I personally print out the lyrics and scripts for every piece of media I'm interested in. It's way better than listening to a song or watching a movie obviously!

      • Re: Greed! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by WillKemp (1338605) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @06:33PM (#45406357) Homepage

        Well we all know how much lyrics sites lead to a loss in sales for these companies.

        Quite the opposite, i'd say. I've often heard a song i liked on the radio, but not known what it was called or who it was by, and then googled bits of lyrics to find out so i could buy it. And i'm sure i'm not the only person who does that. The Google search inevitably takes me to one of those lyrics sites. If they weren't there, chances are i wouldn't have bought the song.

        They're just shooting themselves in the foot as usual, with their mindless short sighted approach.

    • Re:Greed! (Score:5, Funny)

      by BreakBad (2955249) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:12AM (#45399605)

      The last thing I would describe modern lyrics as is 'valuable'. Surely they must be talking about Johnny Cash.

  • Suicide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:10AM (#45399595) Homepage

    Are they trying to destroy their business? That's the only reason I can think of for making it harder for people interested in their product to get information about it.

    • Re:Suicide? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:23AM (#45399703)
      Theoretically, this could be a preparatory move to putting online their own lyrics clearninghouse, with handy links where you can buy the song or album. But, nah, that would require the RIAA to do something that benefits artists and customers, and that would be against type.
      • Re:Suicide? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:58AM (#45399971) Homepage

        It must be pretty galling being a record label. You know you are shit, and have failed to set up any kind of online music service to rival Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and the rest. YouTube shit on your music video sites from a great height. Yet, you will never give up fighting your friends, because anything less than 100% of the market is unacceptable.

        • by SirGarlon (845873)
          On the plus side, you get to make buckets of money for doing, essentially, nothing. I am sure they are hanging their heads in shame, all the way to the bank.
      • Re:Suicide? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @10:18AM (#45400187)

        This would have been a great idea 10 years ago, and I would have spent plenty of money.

        Now most recorded music that was in any way popular during the last 50 years seems to be sat on Youtube, guarded by Google's legions of lawyers. Putting lyrics together with an iTunes link would have zero effect on my purchases in 2013. Much too little, much too late.

        Something the music industry could still do to save itself (I hope you're reading RIAA):

        1) Buy Ticketmaster before it becomes bigger than the entirety of the recorded music business. This will give you leverage to help control the price of concert tickets.
        2) When somebody buys an album (say for $10), give them a voucher/code that they can redeem against the cost of attending a concert in the future for the same value (in this case $10)
        3) 30%-50% of the vouchers/codes will never be redeemed, so that is pure profit. Make them have no expiry date, this will give them a higher perceived value with music purchasers. Let people trade them, again adding to the perceived value. Limit of 1-2 vouchers per concert.
        4) Take a small hit when somebody cashes in their voucher, but you are still making an overall profit on the ticket sale - not to mention the $10 you got for the album originally.
        5) Customers enthusiasm for the band increases, more albums and concert tickets are purchased.
        6) Profit, resurrection of the music industry.

      • "Gather 'round people
        Wherever you roam
        And admit that the waters
        Around you have grown"

        Buy the rest of the lyrics to this song by clicking HERE

    • by ancientt (569920)

      I have a theory. Sometimes when you say "they can't be that stupid" the next thing you should think is "what if they actually aren't that stupid?" What if somebody with a lot of money and a lot if influence is knowingly getting the *AAs to do self destructive things?

    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      Are they trying to destroy their business? That's the only reason I can think of for making it harder for people interested in their product to get information about it.

      Indeed. In fact, back in the days before Shazam and Soundhound, searching for a particular lyric phrase from that song you liked that you heard over the restaurant speakers was often the only way to find out who/what it was. That was pure profit for the labels, since if I liked the song enough I would buy the whole damn album to get it (yes, this would be pre-iTunes)...

  • by Drewdad (1738014) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:11AM (#45399603)

    "Allegedly infringing sites were identified based on a complicated algorithm"

    So... manually, then.

    • by Drewdad (1738014)

      "based on our exhaustive web search"

      We googled it.

      "Allegedly infringing sites were identified based on a complicated algorithm"

      So... manually, then.

      Yup.

    • by wed128 (722152) <woodrowdouglass AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:17AM (#45399643)

      To be fair, Google's search algorithm is fairly complicated...

      • by s.petry (762400)
        But then they referenced Excel as the other method. In other words "Google search Lyrics", dumped to CSV, then SORT->A.
    • People in the music industry tend to be big time suckers when it comes to technology. Remember, these are the people who really believed that DRM being sold by big tech companies was all about keeping their music secure so it couldn't be "pirated". So, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone approached them and claimed to have a "sophisticated algorithm for identifying infringing web sites" and they bought it hook, line, and sinker. And when I say "bought", I mean literally. This is the "more mo

    • by arisvega (1414195)

      The "complicated algorithm" (basis statistics using Excel and Google)

      I find it really disappointing how much of the 'real science' is actually spreadsheets and hand waving.

      • by fatphil (181876)
        No - it's real science because he's got a "methodology".

        """
        The methodology is evolving. I&#226;&#8364;(TM)m open to suggestions and am particularly
        interested in developing methodology that can be used across a variety of copyright categories, not just lyrics. Currently, this is the methodology used to compile this list of websites:
        """

        For those that don't understand "real science", here's the above translated into plain English.

        """
        The method used is evolving. I&#226;&#8364;(TM)m open to su
  • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:14AM (#45399629)
    Someone needs to go after these DMCA abusers, and by that I mean this National Music Publishers Association who are getting a bot to send things out which is supposed to be "under threat of perjury" if it's a false statement.
    It's supposed to be a double edged sword instead of merely a club to beat down on the consumers - cut them with it.
    • Sadly, these DMCA abusers know the "risks." If they abuse the DMCA, they can be found guilty of perjury, except:

      1) This would require the person being sued to counter-sue in court. Often, the people being sued are people or companies without the financial resources to take on a big legal powerhouse like the RIAA. Thy would need to invest time, money, and energy in their court case. All three of which they might not have enough of to effectively see the battle to completion and all three of which these l

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:16AM (#45399639) Journal
    It's not like they're posting the sheet music or the guitar chords, let alone any kind of recording. If you don't already know the tune, the lyrics aren't going to help you understand the actual music. And since singers are so mush-mouthed these days, you need the lyrics to avoid accidentally creating new mondegreens.

    Does iTunes even include the lyrics when you buy a song?
    • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:28AM (#45399739)

      Also I've known lyrics to a song before but not the name. Being able to search the internet based on lyrics is what has allowed me to find a song I was after.

      Reducing access to lyrics is reducing people's ability to find the name of a product they wish to buy.

      • Wish I had mod points. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a song on the radio at a friends or just out and about or blaring from the radio across the street (rarely listen to actual radio in my car or home) and searched the web by lyrics to find artist/song. Then I went and bought it on itunes.

        Basically they want to reduce sales. I don't understand these people.

      • Also I've known lyrics to a song before but not the name. Being able to search the internet based on lyrics is what has allowed me to find a song I was after.

        Reducing access to lyrics is reducing people's ability to find the name of a product they wish to buy.

        Go read the article again. They're only going after unlicensed lyric sites - azlyrics.com will still exist.

        • by Xest (935314)

          Right, but is it complete? Is it well indexed and searchable? Is it blocked by any corporate firewalls?, any mobile firewalls in places like the UK because of explicit content?

          A reduced number of sites still means a reduced amount of ability to search for your product.

          • Right, but is it complete? Is it well indexed and searchable? Is it blocked by any corporate firewalls?, any mobile firewalls in places like the UK because of explicit content?

            A reduced number of sites still means a reduced amount of ability to search for your product.

            But the sites that are being blocked tend to be the ones with malware, obnoxious popups, and weird javascript. A reduced number of sites doesn't actually impair your search ability, if you're only getting rid of the chaff.

            • by Xest (935314)

              Malware filters aren't the only type of filters. Look up content filters.

              Much of the most prominent content filtering software around will block some sites of a category but not all of them.

              But as I said that's not the only issue, there's still the question of whether "licensed" sites provide the same coverage of songs as the combination of non-licensed sites.

              The point is simply that reducing the number of lyric sites reduces the ability of people to find a product. Licensed sites may mitigate that to some

        • by fatphil (181876)
          I just pulled a few random CDs off my shelf and searched for some of the lyrics. Typically the sites on the front page of google were ones on the list in that pdf. Therefore the legit sites do not help in finding the kind of music I like, apart from the bands which I consider at one time fairly mainstream. So, once again, the little guy gets burried.
    • by bmo (77928)

      singers are so mush-mouthed these days

      These days? Really?

      And they weren't 45 years ago?

      Go ahead, try to sing "Jumpin' Jack Flash" accurately without looking at a lyrics sheet.

      I dare you.

      --
      BMO

    • It's not like they're posting the sheet music or the guitar chords, let alone any kind of recording. If you don't already know the tune, the lyrics aren't going to help you understand the actual music. And since singers are so mush-mouthed these days, you need the lyrics to avoid accidentally creating new mondegreens.

      Just by coincidence, I did a search for some sheet music just yesterday. Found lots of matches, checked two. One sold the sheet music for a song for $3.28. The other offered it for free. What they offered was a pdf file with an obviously scanned copy of the first one.

    • by jandrese (485)
      iTunes used to have a plugin that automatically grabbed the lyrics to the song you were playing and put them up on the screen. There was a version for the iPhone as well. The RIAA shut both down almost immediately. As far as I know, there is no legal way to get the lyrics on most songs if they're not published in the booklet, and if you buy eletronically the lyics are virtually never included. Also, I would never pay seperately for the lyrics, that's rediculous.

      The worst part is that those lyric sites
  • I'm less sympathetic to commercial infringement, and I guess this is most likely infringing, but I can't help thinking this is pointless.

    Lyrics sites can't generate a lot of direct revenue for the music industry through lyric licensing fees. They do generate indirect revenue by people googling for the song they heard a snippet of and then buying an album. Also many of the ads are going to be related to the song (listen to this song on last.fm, buy the ringtone) so it seems odd that they're putting the ef
  • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:28AM (#45399747) Homepage Journal
    --dave
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:30AM (#45399753)

    MILEY CYRUS LYRICS
    "Wrecking Ball"

    We clawed, we chained our hearts in vain
    We jumped never asking why
    We kissed, I fell under your spell.
    A love no one could deny

    Don't you ever say I just walked away
    I will always want you
    I can't live a lie, running for my life
    I will always want you

    I came in like a wrecking ball
    I never hit so hard in love
    All I wanted was to break your walls
    All you ever did was wreck me
    Yeah, you, you wreck me

    I put you high up in the sky
    And now, you're not coming down
    It slowly turned, you let me burn
    And now, we're ashes on the ground

    Don't you ever say I just walked away
    I will always want you
    I can't live a lie, running for my life
    I will always want you

    I came in like a wrecking ball
    I never hit so hard in love
    All I wanted was to break your walls
    All you ever did was wreck me

    I came in like a wrecking ball
    Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung
    Left me crashing in a blazing fall
    All you ever did was wreck me
    Yeah, you, you wreck me

    I never meant to start a war
    I just wanted you to let me in
    And instead of using force
    I guess I should've let you win
    I never meant to start a war
    I just wanted you to let me in
    I guess I should've let you win

    Don't you ever say I just walked away
    I will always want you

    I came in like a wrecking ball
    I never hit so hard in love
    All I wanted was to break your walls
    All you ever did was wreck me

    I came in like a wrecking ball
    Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung
    Left me crashing in a blazing fall
    All you ever did was wreck me
    Yeah, you, you wreck me
    Yeah, you, you wreck me

  • today, not a single fuck was given.

    • by kimvette (919543)

      Now for a more productive post: This is insanely stupid. Since DJs are a thing of the past the artist/title usually isn't announced so unless you have soundhound ready to go what you do is go home and query on the lyrics, find the artist/title on a lyrics site then go to Worst Buy, Sprawl*Mart, or Amazon or Google Play or iTunes and buy the music. They're shooting themselves in the foot yet again.

      Obviously the music industry STILL doesn't "get" teh interwebz.

      • by kimvette (919543)

        "However, there is anecdotal evidence that these lyric websites generate huge web
        traffic and may involve more money than one might think. "

        My anecdotal evidence is that if I am not quick enough with SoundHound (usually while driving) I google the lyrics then buy the content on CD or iTunes or Google Play. Music industry lawyers, your clients make more money by allowing the alleged "infringement" than not allowing it - just like in the days of Napster.

        Morons.

  • by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:43AM (#45399851)

    I can't say I'm all that sorry to see evil (MAFIAA) go after the bad (shady lyric sites) since many of these sites are copying from each other, hiding lyrics behind JavaScript, have pop-ups, and in some cases carrying potentially infected ads. There are a few sites like SongMeanings.com that also include user comments, but most operations just seem to be trading other people's copyrights for ad impressions.

    Top 50 Undesirable Lyric Websites Oct 22nd 2013
    Rank | Website | final score %
    01 www.rapgenius.com 12.77%
    02 www.lyricsmania.com 10.4925%
    03 www.lyricstranslate.com 8.41%
    04 www.stlyrics.com 6.76125%
    05 www.lyricsreg.com 6.71375%
    06 www.lyricstime.com 6.05125%
    07 www.lyrster.com 5.675%
    08 www.parolesBmusique.com 5.18%
    09 www.kovideo.net 5.0975%
    10 www.songonlyrics.com 4.86625%
    11 www.indexBofBmp3s.com 4.805%
    12 www.lyricstranslations.com 4.79%
    13 www.karaokeBlyrics.net 4.665%
    14 www.romanticBlyrics.com 4.385%
    15 www.maxilyrics.com 4.34375%
    16 www.poemhunter.com 4.2375%
    17 www.metalBhead.org 4.225%
    18 www.songteksten.nl 4.21%
    19 www.lyricsres.com 4.18%
    20 www.lyricsdepot.com 4.09125%
    21 www.songtextemania.com 3.95%
    22 www.lyricsboy.com 3.81%
    23 www.elyricsworld.com 3.6975%
    24 www.eBchords.com 3.69%
    25 www.popdust.com 3.475%
    26 www.hotnewsonglyrics.co 3.41875%
    27 www.anysonglyrics.com 3.405%
    28 www.guitaretab.com 3.405%
    29 www.allthelyrics.com 3.375%
    30 www.oldielyrics.com 3.3475%
    31 www.musicloversgroup.com 3.34%
    32 www.karafun.com 3.225%
    33 www.lyrics.astraweb.com 3.18375%
    34 www.videokeman.com 3.1575%
    35 www.lybio.net 2.935%
    36 www.urbanlyrics.com 2.8725%
    37 www.asklyrics.com 2.8425%
    38 www.bmusiclyrics.com 2.8275%
    39 www.nomorelyrics.net 2.7975%
    40 www.plyrics.com 2.7825%
    41 www.hitslyrics.com 2.765%
    42 www.vagalume.com.br 2.665%
    43 www.lyricsforsong.net 2.66375%
    44 www.seeklyrics.com 2.61%
    45 www.letras.mus.br 2.565%
    46 www.lyricspinas.com 2.52%
    47 www.parolesmania.com 2.515%
    48 www.cowboylyrics.com 2.4825%
    49 www.lyricsmansion.com 2.36875%
    50 www.digitaldreamdoor.com 2.35125%

    Interesting to see .nl and .br sites in the list.

    • Re:Evil vs. Bad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MrKaos (858439) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @10:02AM (#45400005) Journal

      I can't say I'm all that sorry to see evil (MAFIAA) go after the bad (shady lyric sites) since many of these sites are copying from each other,

      Many musicians use lyrics sites to check if it's an original idea versus a existing one. As usual, the music industry is fucking over musicians, I doubt they will pay musicians for the advertising revenue that the lyrics attract.

      • by swillden (191260)

        Many musicians use lyrics sites to check if it's an original idea versus a existing one.

        Then they can use any of the handful of lyrics sites which license the lyrics and can legally distribute them. This isn't going to make the lyrics unavailable, just reduce the number of sites that all distribute the same content.

  • Since they risk being shut down, the DBs need to end up torrented by an "unknown security breach at YourCompanyNameHere.com" and they'll never go away. It doesn't fix the problem with the destruction of ad revenue, but it undermines the NMPA's actions.

  • I've actually looked up a few lyric sites recently and they all had different variations. They look like most are phonetic so I'm guessing there's an industry somewhere using Chinese or Indian workers to transcribe the lyrics by listening to the songs rather than getting them from the publishers.
    • by Russ1642 (1087959)

      The lyrics at these crappy sites are almost universally wrong. Mistakes everywhere. Don't even get me started on sites that include chords or tabs.

  • by Andover Chick (1859494) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:50AM (#45399901)
    It is such a sham they even call it the "music industry". The amount of assets in the form of recording studios and distribution is relatively quite small. What's big is the number of office buildings housing lawyers. If you ever drive around the West Hollywood or Beverley Hills area you'll see big office buildings full of lawyers. That's what the "industry" is...
  • by JustOK (667959) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @09:51AM (#45399903) Journal

    Imagine there's no...damn. [[please deposit $.99 to continue]]

  • Most music publishers stopped including lyrics with CDs ages ago, and almost never post them on say, the band's web site. The vast majority of lyrics on these sights are poor transcriptions posted by fans, which they lyric sites systematically swipe from each other. So if one site says the line is "there's a bathroom on the right", they pretty much all do.

    Are less-than-perfect transcriptions of lyrics that have never been officially published a violation of copyright?

    .
  • I definitely remember lyrics.ch. I used it often to find the lyrics to that song I loved or to look up that song I heard on the radio but didn't know the name/singer of. In fact, with the latter case, a visit to Lyrics.ch would sometimes result in a sale for the recording industry. After all, if I loved that brand new song by that brand new band on the radio but didn't know either one by name, I'd be unable to purchase their works. After a visit to Lyrics.ch, I'd have been able to purchase their CD.

    Nowa

  • by korbulon (2792438) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @10:02AM (#45399995)

    That's what this amounts to. And lost revenue. I've lost count of the number of times where I've been out in public and overheard pieces of a song I liked and committed key phrases to memory to google later. Never fails to find the song. (And frankly, sometimes the results are embarrassing. I like that shit?!)

  • Look, I am not an american, and i don't know all the music outside. But if I hear a tune I like, I google the lyric, et voila ! A new sale for EMI/whoever. If you remove the lyric web site... There is no way I can find out. Congratulation you killed sales.
  • by rossdee (243626)

    The lyrics don't belong to the record companies, they belong to the song writer (who may or may not be the artist that is singing them.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @10:14AM (#45400143) Homepage
    1. before lyrics sites, listeners simply didnt have access to much of the lyrical content of the music they were exposed to. industry cronies like the RIAA didnt give a shit if the poetic art of a song was conveyed legibly or eloquently; the tipper sticker is still at their discretion and used liberally to bump or kill a song or artists popularity. These lyrics sites stepped up and helped promote artists directly by engaging their listeners with informative and open information in most cases as to the content of a song, not just the sound of it. lyrics sites had forums dedicated to the meanings of songs as well as where to purchase them. As a parent, you appreciated these sites because it let you enforce or relax certain censorships against your child without having to resort to a vague and condescending sticker on the tin which of course, is not present on mp3s.

    2. litigation cannot stop the internet much as cloistered catholic monks could not stop the spread of literacy. many lyrics sites will go dark to avoid litigation, but one can reasonably expect the site owners have an absolute plethora of other names and domains they can fall back on. Remember, the music industry trade association in question isnt proposing a solution to the problem of the lack of song lyrics in popular culture, theyre just enforcing trade and copyright at the behest of their stakeholders. lyric databases can be created and dissemenated across tor or through magnet links in bittorrent if need be.

    3. a smaller point but the university of georgia's music industry shill happens to be david lowery: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lowery [wikipedia.org]
    David is a musician famous mostly for the song 'low.' as far as most are concerned hes a relatively one hit wonder. so Yet another internationally renowned, nationally proven and locally beloved music figure has joined the staff this semester, and heâ(TM)s no slouch next to the other big names already there. 2 years later he just so happens to work on a project to help litigate lyric sites? it feels like the university of georgia might be a 'stacked deck' in this case used to justify litigation under the guise of academic research. Seeing as hes not published and his algorythm as well as its findings lack peer review outside a multi million dollar industry litigation agency, if he really is the researcher then we've got problems. if hwoever hes just a semester instructor, http://www.terry.uga.edu/news/releases/david-lowery-to-teach-spring-semester-course-for-ugas-music-business-certif [uga.edu]
    then id like to know the engineer or scientist and see more of their work.

    IMHO, lowery has an axe to grind and is being used nicely by the industry to grind it (Metallica anyone?) hes not a top 10 for any label, so if this one fails theres no chance we lose a major investment...after all this is a guy on his blog who equates playing low-budget venues with serving in iraq
    http://www.davidlowerymusic.com/300-songs-blog/blog/48-friends-3-guys-walk-into-a-bar-in-canoga-park-why-being-backstage-at-a-low-grade-music-festival-is-like-being-in-iraq [davidlowerymusic.com]
    hes also posted tabs and lyrics to the songs from his band, Cracker. now correct me if im wrong, but your label owns that song. they own the tabs, they own the melody, they own your stage presence and likeness. http://www.davidlowerymusic.com/300-songs-blog/blog/45-movie-star-and-get-off-this-cracker-more-on-selling-out-the-marc-jacobs-edition-m1-tank [davidlowerymusic.com]
    if Sony or the RIAA took any of this se
  • by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus.slashdot@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @10:31AM (#45400297) Homepage Journal
    Unlike many of the posters above who are saying that this will kill music sales because when they don't know the artist or song title, they search for lyrics, I actually read the article - they're targeting only unlicensed lyrics sites. The fully licensed azlyrics.com will still exist, as will lyricfind.com and musicmatch.com. In fact, it appears that the ones that are targeted are the ones that have tons of pop-ups, malware advertisements, redirecting scripts, etc. So, good.
  • I hate lyrics sites, as they're often not accurate, and the sites themselves are rather skeevy. I really don't understand why bands (or their labels) don't post lyrics to their own sites?
    Or even better, put the lyrics in the MP3 files themselves, when they're sold! iTunes has a spot for lyrics, and it's ridiculous that I have to fill in that box myself, even when I purchase a song from the iTunes store (or anywhere else, for that matter).

  • by Warhawke (1312723) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @10:39AM (#45400403)

    IANAL, but I am familiar with the business. For those of you claiming this is self-destructive, the NMPA as well as individual publishers actually license the lyrics right to certain lyrics websites. The publishers own a valid copyright in the lyrics alone, so legally speaking, republication of the lyrics without copyright license is infringement. Several lyrics websites are officially licensed and sanctioned. I won't name names, but you can usually tell which are licensed and which aren't by the quality and accuracy of the lyrics on the site.

    Usually the publishers steer clear of these sites due to lack of personal jurisdiction, or at best make half-hearted efforts by throwing around a take-down notice here or there. Publishers want to collect money, and they're well aware that going after Lars Lokke Ummerstal in Latvia isn't going to be profitable. However, take-down notices are relatively cheap and easy, and I believe the idea is to stick by principle and crack down on infringing websites in order to have a chilling effect on copyright infringement generally. This is not new, or particularly newsworthy.

    It's also not really all that infuriating, from a copyleft perspective. Because publishers are licensing their copyrights to lyrics and tablature, they aren't strangling the marketplace of ideas. The only real question is whether or not the sites are unfairly targeting websites legitimately engaging in fair use (as opposed to those actually making money off of advertising revenue and merely claiming their use is fair), but, as fair use is an affirmative defense and not a bright line rule, there's no way for a site to prove as a threshold matter that their use is fair.

  • Where is the legal site that contains lyrics, as not all albums and certainly not mp3s, come with them. This is another case of someone providing a service when there is no legal alternative. Or worse, if there is, its completed fragmented among a bunch of different sites.

"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970

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