When I as a child and young adult one part of loving music for me was sitting down with a cassette recorder, trying to write down the lyrics to my favorite songs. That’s some work, especially when it came to rap songs. Rewinding the tape a dozen times, just to find out what the lyrics really were. I’m very fond of this memories.
If public internet already existed these days, I would’ve loved to share and improve my work with like-minded people all over the world.
Seemingly I would have committed and supported a serious crime.
50 sites that provide the service for exactly this are facing serious legal charges by the National Music Publishers’ Association including take-down notices and threats of lawsuits.
As far as I can see two copyrights are of matter in this case. First the right of publication and secondly the right of distribution.
But here we are talking about material that already has been published. Publication rights still refer to, except in Germany, the right of first publication. When you publish a song, you can’t exclude the lyrics from the legal consequence of first publication, even if it’s never in print form.
The users submit the content to the site, which provides a more or less elaborate service and operates on the advertising revenue.
Concerning distribution rights, please let me know if you know of any artist that receives revenue from lyric distribution, or at least, who does a stand-alone lyrics publication to distribute?
Even if the operators of these websites earn millions, it may hurt the “music industry“, but it won’t change the facts.
Creating so-called “New Media Rights“, that are supposed to cover every ever imaginable use of material that hasn’t been covered or occurred before, won’t be of help as long as not legally accredited.
Oh, and yes, luckily fan pages and blogs are not targeted. Why? Because they are not financially successful enough to put in the effort to target them as well. So simple.
And that is most likely the main reason why this won’t be judged as a case of fair use.
We know that’s a myth, right?
I have some really simple questions;
How come this is supposed to be crippling artists in their ability to work and leaving them unable to profit from their work?? Who initiated this move, an artist or a business person? Just saying…
But I guess it’s getting more frosty in the music industry than it already is. Wouldn’t it have been a cool move if the responsible people from those 50 targeted sites had been contacted for negotiating a mutual agreement including a share of the revenue? The operators know what they do, they have legal advisers. They were probably already waiting for something like this.
We’ll see how it’ll turn out in the next few weeks or month.