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Music Media Your Rights Online

Music Should Be Heard But Not Understood 462

Posted by samzenpus
from the dirty-dean-and-the-dunder-cheese dept.
PaxTech writes "Warner/Chapell music has cease-and-desisted a small freeware developer who wrote a Mac OS X lyrics downoading application. pearLyrics in no way contributed to piracy or copyright infringement, it was merely a tool to search for lyrics on public websites and view or add them to mp3 metadata. This is part of a larger crackdown on websites distributing lyrics. Apparently, the labels would like to force us back to a world where Hendrix kisses guys."
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Music Should Be Heard But Not Understood

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  • Facilitators (Score:5, Interesting)

    by biocute (936687) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @07:58PM (#14206655) Homepage
    Isn't this (linking/facilitating) the reason why Napster and friends got nipped? They are sort of helping illegal (as determined by whoever) activities to gain publicity.

    While I enjoy freely available and searchable lyrics, I must admit 9 out of 10 times I regretted having looked up the lyrics, it kinda ruins my feeling once I understand every single word and can sing-a-long. Am I the only one having this kind of 'empty-yet-lyric-filled' feeling?
    • Re:Facilitators (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trinn (523103) <livinglatexkali@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:02PM (#14206676)
      Maybe my comprehension of spoken(sung?) language sucks but I prefer having the lyrics, it really helps me understand what an artist is trying to communicate, and among other things it makes it a lot easier to read the subtext involved. This is especially helpful in the case of a "rock opera" type "concept" album (one example is Green Day's "American Idiot", another from another area is VNV Nation's "Matter+Form")
    • Re:Facilitators (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gid13 (620803)
      The ruined feeling is probably because 9 times out of 10 the lyrics suck more ass than a donkey vacuum.

      "Anything too stupid to be said is sung."
      -Voltaire
    • Re:Facilitators (Score:5, Informative)

      by FyRE666 (263011) * on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:27PM (#14206835) Homepage
      Actually, being able to look up the lyrics to a song has often resulted in me buying an album. I'll often hear a snatch of something and try to remember part of a chorus or something so I can look it up. Amazingly this works a fair percentage of the time!

      If I can't look up lyrics, I'll buy less music. Pretty simple really.
    • Embarrassing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Simonetta (207550) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:31PM (#14206861)
      How embarrassing. Musicians are generally thought of as being cool people. But (I would hope) that they are getting rather uncomfortable being associated with these weirdo-goon squad from the RIAA.
          The RIAA doesn't really help you in your musical career and they act like psychotic creeps. How long before people will stop want to be musicians because they don't want to have to be associated with these RIAA industry people.
          Could music actually become uncool as a result of the RIAA's vulgar actions? (I sound like Carrie Bradshaw there) Or are the people who want to become rock stars so out of it anyway that they couldn't care less?
      • Re:Embarrassing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jaseparlo (819802) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:18PM (#14207103) Homepage
        Think about Metallica's response to Napster. People like Fred Durst own music publishing companies, you can bet he'll side with the RIAA without a thought for fans. Just about the only path to an increased audience is through the major publishers. Look at the garbage they sell though, do you think many of the people getting famous today are actually artists in the sense of creating and deeply caring for what they do?
    • by DeafByBeheading (881815) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:58PM (#14207011) Journal
      While I enjoy freely available and searchable lyrics, I must admit 9 out of 10 times I regretted having looked up the lyrics, it kinda ruins my feeling once I understand every single word and can sing-a-long. Am I the only one having this kind of 'empty-yet-lyric-filled' feeling?

      <burn karma, burn>Maybe you should listen to songs with less stupid lyrics?</burn karma, burn>

      Kidding.
      • Or if that really great song you heard turns out to be "Prison Sex" by Tool.
        (Ok, it still a great song, just try not to sing along...)
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:03PM (#14207041)
      I must admit 9 out of 10 times I regretted having looked up the lyrics

      I was really disappointed when I looked up this song's lyrics [lyrical.nl]...
  • Do it or not (Score:3, Informative)

    by NotoriousGOD (936922) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:00PM (#14206662)
    If people don't want lyrics don't look them up. If you do, you don't need software. google.com > lyrics: "enter song here" > search
    • What? Google can be used to facilitate this sort of thing? I guess the RIAA will be after them next for the same reasons they are going after every other "facilitator".
    • I used to use google to search for song titles by lyric fragment. When I was at work, listening to the radio, if I liked the sound of a song, but didn't know or couldn't guess its title, I'd jot down a line or two on a sticky label (I work in a warehouse, plain paper is uncommon outside the offices, but labels are ubiquitous) and stick it to my sweater. On getting home, a few minutes with Google would usually get me a title and Audiogalaxy (remember that one?) would do the rest.
      Of course, instrumentals and
  • Next.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by skinfitz (564041) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:00PM (#14206665) Journal
    Next up: no singing in the shower without a license.
    • Re:Next.. (Score:3, Funny)

      by raider_red (156642)
      They're also confiscating all of the Hymnals at Church.
    • Re:Next.. (Score:2, Funny)

      by Freaky Spook (811861)
      Surgeons report rise in operations of amputation of eyes, ears & throats as people are scared of accidently infringing copywrite.

      This is in response to a RIAA lawsuit where they sued a 12 year old girl for humming along to music in an elevator that unfortunatly was held under copywrite.

      • Also, there's a new type of DRM coming out where after you have remembered a song 3 times it erases itself from your memory.

        Wait a minute. I could use that sometimes.
    • The Onion (Score:5, Funny)

      by centinall (868713) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:22PM (#14206816)
      LOS ANGELES - The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that it will be taking legal action against anyone discovered telling friends, acquaintances, or associates about new songs, artists, or albums. "We are merely exercising our right to defend our intellectual properties from unauthorized peer-to-peer notification of the existence of copyrighted material," a press release signed by RIAA anti-piracy director Brad Buckles read. "We will aggressively prosecute those individuals who attempt to pirate our property by generating 'buzz' about any proprietary music, movies, or software, or enjoy same in the company of anyone other than themselves." RIAA attorneys said they were also looking into the legality of word-of-mouth "favorites-sharing" sites, such as coffee shops, universities, and living rooms. http://www.theonion.com/content/node/43029 [theonion.com]
    • Re:Next..Next... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jsse (254124) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:45PM (#14206945) Homepage Journal
      It is 3Q 2030.

      You're arguing with your wife again. It seems she's missed her spending quota again this quarter. A proud patriot, you have no problem spending 85% and sometimes 90% of your income on consumer goods, yet she can't manage to spend even close to the 75% required by law. It's that foreign mentality, you suppose--that's what happens when you are educated overseas and without the benefit of a corporate sponsor. You have to remind her that if the Internal Consumer's Service (ICS) catches her, she'll be doing time in Philip Morris(TM) Prison like her uncle.

      Oh well, hopefully a night at the town's AOL-Time-Warner-Clear-Channel-Blockbuster(TM) Authorized Media Distribution Center will smooth things over with her. That reminds you--you need to have your eye- and ear-implants inspected for this quarter again, otherwise you won't even be allowed in tonight.

      You haven't attended church services for a while. Although your wife is a devout follower of God's Customers(TM) and shops in the Church Store at LEAST five tiems a quarter, you're not yet convinced that converting from Consumers For Jesus(TM) was that sound an investment.

      Your son Rick has just graduated from the local McDonalds(TM) High School. You want him to go to Pepsi(TM) University like his sister, but he wants to go to Coke(TM) College. Not that it matters--the permits you get at either school are the same. Although he really wanted to attend Stanford(TM), his corporate sponsors rejected that proposal, based on what it might do to his credit rating.

      Your youngest daughter just graduated Pepsi(TM) U. It was expensive, but she is all set now, having received a Creative Thought Permit and a Entrepreneurship License. On top of that she's accepted a job at Fortune 10 corporation. Of course almost everyone works for a Fortune 10 nowadays, there being only thirty-some corporations left. It's too bad she had to sign all those NDA's though--you'd really like to be allowed to know where she would be living and how to get in touch with her. Ahh well, it's the price you pay for our corporate security.

      Your older daughter, after twenty quarters of employment, was finally permitted to tell you that she is working in middle-management at AT&T. Of course, every job in the United Corporations of America is middle-management. The cheaper--skilled--labor is all outsourced to Those Other Countries, whatever they are called. In ten more quarters, assuming her credit rating remains good and she has attained Shareholder status, she'll be allowed to talk face-to-face (no encrypted channel) with us again!

      Apparently, her five year old daughter has been grounded again, this time for racking up a $6000 fine--singing "Happy Birthday(TM)" at a party without a Media Distribution License. She really needs to be taught a lesson--that as a patriotic Consumer of the UCA, she needs to respect the rights of Shareholders and property owners. What a dangerous thoughts she has! She thinks she should be allowed to say whatever she pleases, no matter what it does to someone else's portfolio! No one can get it through to her that terrorist ideas like that will land her in one of those "special" schools--and she'd be subjected to a lower quarterly limit on all her credit cards.

      Fax from your wife--she'll be late tonight. Corporate HQ has re-instated fourteen-hour work days until the end of this quarter. It's too bad she's not allowed to quit her job--you could get her a pretty sweet management position any time in your department at Microsoft.

      This document is hereby released to the public domain. You may (and are encouraged to) reproduce, republish, read, modify, and/or archive it without limitation.


      Orignal story [slashdot.org] by Accord MT [slashdot.org]
      • Re:Next..Next... (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jafafa Hots (580169)
        For the best satire about this sort of thing, read Phl and Kornbluth'd "The Space Merchants."

        Written in the 1950s, it still on the mark.
      • Jennifer Government? (Score:3, Informative)

        by tetromino (807969)
        May I suggest Jennifer Government [maxbarry.com] by Max Barry. Its advantages are that:
        • Max Barry, unlike Accord MT, has an actual sense of humor
        • Mr. Barry used to work in marketing, so he really knows what he is talking about
        • you will develop a totally new outlook on the xbox 360 shortage
        • Jennifer Government is not in the public domain -- so you get to ironically spend $12 on a work of anti-consumerist satire
      • by Sax Maniac (88550) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @10:20PM (#14207530) Homepage Journal
        You're arguing with your wife again. It seems she's missed her spending quota again this quarter. A proud patriot, you have no problem spending 85% and sometimes 90% of your income on consumer goods, yet she can't manage to spend even close to the 75% required by law.

        I'd be ecstatic if she spent anything less than 125%!

        Spending at or below your income is so 1970s... it's, like, what old people do?

  • Overkill (Score:3, Insightful)

    by revelCyllufyalP (936726) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:01PM (#14206668) Homepage Journal
    Okay, I can kind of see the basis behind SOME of the recording industry's points (go ahead and mod me flamebait now) seeing as music is copyrighted property and whatnot. But aren't lyrics not copyrighted or are the hundreds of sites out there that give song lyrics away for free underground criminal enterprises?

    In any case I think the recording industry is definately overstepping its bounds here and should probably focus on winning the first losing battle it got it self into (the fight vs. p2p file sharing) before trying to start another one.
    • Re:Overkill (Score:5, Informative)

      by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:28PM (#14206844)

      "Okay, I can kind of see the basis behind SOME of the recording industry's points (go ahead and mod me flamebait now) seeing as music is copyrighted property and whatnot."

      That's fine. Today, we are talking about the music publishing industry. I know it's a "same difference" to a lot of Slashdotters, just as non-Slashdotter types might think that IT guys, MIS guys, coders and project managers all do the same thing.

      "But aren't lyrics not copyrighted or are the hundreds of sites out there that give song lyrics away for free underground criminal enterprises?"

      Lyrics are copyrighted, typically by the lyricist. The lyric sites get around this with those cryptic "only for individual private study" disclaimers -- I'd copy and paste the exact text but I don't feel like going to a lyric site right now and festooning my display with twelve pop-ups.

      Anyway, the lyricist may transfer the publishing rights to a company that specializes in such things (similar to entrusting a real estate agent to sell your house or a CPA to do your taxes -- pay a little more and let an expert do it), or they might form a one-person publishing company. Lennon and McCartney created a two-person company, Northern Songs, Ltd.

      As an aside, since many of these publishing companies are just the lyricist and/or the composer, and lyricists and composers are creative folks, you get some funny and clever company names. Look on your CDs -- you'll often see things like "Contents copyright (c) MegaBigRecord Company and Green Ardvaark Ltd." "Green Ardvaark" is probably the guy who wrote the words or the notes.

      Warner/Chappell Music happens to be an exception -- it's a very large music publishing company that handles the publishing rights for lots and lots of musicians. They are a subsidiary of the Warner empire (as are their record, film, and book divisions) but they are not a record company, and they are not in the recording industry. They are in the music publishing industry.

      "In any case I think the recording industry is definately overstepping its bounds here and should probably focus on winning the first losing battle it got it self into (the fight vs. p2p file sharing) before trying to start another one."

      Different industries. This is the music publishing industry, that gets its revenues through radio airplay, jukeboxes, licensing to films and movies, etc. -- pretty much everything but record sales and other pursuits of the recording industry. Perhaps it would be accurate to say that Warner should not be doing this, but this very well might be a left hand/right hand thing.

    • Re:Overkill (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jerry Coffin (824726)

      But aren't lyrics not copyrighted or are the hundreds of sites out there that give song lyrics away for free underground criminal enterprises?

      Yes lyrics are subject to copyright [copyright.gov]. This particular quote is from US law, but I'm reasonably certain all countries that follow the Berne Convention (and most at least claims to) have similar rules.

      Of course, Fair Use [stanford.edu] is a possibility as well -- but almost certainly not in the case of quoting the lyrics to a complete song.

      --
      The universe is a figment of its

  • by zxnos (813588) <zxnoss@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:01PM (#14206670)
    are you sure about that? [bbc.co.uk]
  • by Scoria (264473) <slashmail@in[ ]alized.org ['iti' in gap]> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:02PM (#14206672) Homepage
    It seems that their tactics are already working. I'm already having trouble finding the lyrics for Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. If there are any underground sites still operating, please let me know. Thanks!
  • What's new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:02PM (#14206675) Journal
    So what's new? Companies send Cease and desist orders all the time, it's the easiest way to scare people into doing what they want. It's ridiclous but it's true, if you act like you're going to sue people they figure out if they can aford the law suit (win or lose) and more often than not they see they don't have the money so they're forced to stop.

    It's like pointing a gun at someone, they "could" not get shot, but is it worth the risk when you could just give them your watch and be done with it?
    • Re:What's new (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HunterZ (20035) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:13PM (#14206743) Journal
      It's like pointing a gun at someone, they "could" not get shot, but is it worth the risk when you could just give them your watch and be done with it?

      Funny thing is, it's illegal to point a gun at someone and threaten them into doing something...
      • Re:What's new (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kaiser423 (828989) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:26PM (#14206833)
        Funny this is, it's illegal to do so with a lawsuit. Just much harder to prove the intent, and also involves another lawsuit.
      • "Funny thing is, it's illegal to point a gun at someone and threaten them into doing something..."

        Threatening with a gun is fairly cut & dried. Lawsuits are another thing altogether. By the time the lawyers do their 'Chewbacca Defense' dance & such, the final result can be, (and many times is), much different than what you or I would consider as 'Justice'.

  • by ScaryMonkey (886119) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:02PM (#14206677)
    It must have been that "Thunder Chief" I keep hearing about...
  • by Bananatree3 (872975) * on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:02PM (#14206678)
    There are several other programs that do this kind of thing for iTunes:

    SingPod [tricheco.net]

    Sing that iTune [apple.com]

    Also a question, does anyone have a mirror for the pearLyrics program?

  • by fnhoser (915934) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:04PM (#14206689)
    I can't wait to have to pay to understand the words to a song.
  • Forgetting one thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord of Ironhand (456015) <arjen@xyx.nl> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:06PM (#14206698) Homepage
    While I totally do not condone the activities of the RIAA and similar (to the contrary), you *can* usually read the lyrics when you actually buy the CD, since most of the time it has a lyrics booklet included. Since they want you to buy the CD and not download it, this *does* make sense from their perspective.

    Since I don't want to be on the whole defensive of the RIAA, here's a link to the RIAA Radar [magnetbox.com] to balance things - boycott the RIAA!

    • by lrucker (621551) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:11PM (#14206728)
      But first you have to buy the CD - what I've used lyrics sites for most often is "hey, that song on the radio was pretty good - wonder who the artist is?" Most of my recent iTunes purchases came after doing something like that - and on occasion I've even bought the entire CD.
      • You're assuming that their priority is to get the most sales.

        Their priority is to persuade everyone that there is no way to have one's songs sold without using the labels' service.
    • by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:12PM (#14206738)
      While I totally do not condone the activities of the RIAA and similar (to the contrary), you *can* usually read the lyrics when you actually buy the CD

      This app was a plugin for iTunes, so it's meant to fill in the gap for those who, legally, bought the song online.

      • Good point (also made by a sibling post), legal bought downloads are clearly missing something here compared to bought CD's. I was mostly responding to the sentence "This is part of a larger crackdown on websites distributing lyrics.", which in my opinion isn't relevant purely to legal downloads (even though TFA mostly deals with the app instead of the sites). The ability to download lyrics as well as songs does still reduce the difference between buying the CD and downloading illegally though - once again,
      • You can add non-iTMS purchased mp3s into your iTunes library.
    • Do you get a copy of the lyrics when you buy off iTunes? I don't know the answer to that one, but I'd say it's probably "no." I once used EvilLyrics to assist in decoding those crazy System of a Down songs, and found it VERY useful. If they really follow through with this, they'll have to shut down the hundreds of lyrics sites on the web. Like the guy said, it's just a specialised browser with lots of cache...
      • Do you get a copy of the lyrics when you buy off iTunes? I don't know the answer to that one, but I'd say it's probably "no."

        iTunes supplies a facility to enter the lyrics of a song you have purchased. Right click the song, select 'Get Info' and select the 'Lyrics' tab and enter them in the editable field. (At least on windows boxes) Conceivably, iTunes in the future could provide the lyrics of the song that you have purchased just like it supplies the artwork of the song at the moment.

        None of the song

  • by Sancho (17056) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:07PM (#14206706) Homepage
    ...shutting down recent lyrics sites, that is. After the big fuss made over lyrics.ch, I was surprised to be able to consistently find the lyrics to songs I've heard on the radio by simply searching Google. Many times, the places I'd find lyrics hosted lyrics for thousands of songs. What took them so long in shutting down these massive sites?

    I don't really understand it. Unlike mp3s, I can't see lyrics downloads doing anything but boosting sales. Nevertheless, posting lyrics violates copyright and it is within their rights to try to get these places shut down.
    • I don't really understand it. Unlike mp3s, I can't see lyrics downloads doing anything but boosting sales.

      I think because it eats into sales of songbooks (music & lyrics). Go into any Guitar Center and you'll see racks and racks of songbooks.

      I have a violinist friend and he constantly complains about having to buy sheets of music. In his opinion, the prices are a rip off, even for classical music and the sheets never last for more than a few month. Course, my friend is pretty messy so YMMV.

      I don't kn

    • Oh my god! You remember Lyrics.ch to! That was a very dark day back when they shut it down. It took quite awhile for another site to host nearly as many lyrics... At least a year or two... I have been wonderign myself why they haven't acted since then...
  • cover bands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward


    yeah lets make it harder for cover bands to cover songs let alone regular people from understanding the message. Yhat way we can just string random words together with a crappy 4/4 beat and a repetative melody and mass sell crap you our consumers coz they will buy anything if we advertise it 24/7....see Brittany spears ,stock aitken and waterhouse for clues on this process...

    yet another way to control and destroy culture....folk music was the evolvement of other tunes and melodies with new words....you can
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:11PM (#14206730) Homepage Journal
    Copyright is, at its most basic, the monopoly to use force to control a non-physical "thing." Before copyright racketeering, we had ten thousand years of art, music and creation. Today marketable art is more and more in the hands of those who can not produce. Where 7 years of legal force might be ok, no law offering power ever stays reasonable.

    The web is ending our need to copyright, as enforcing it will soon be impossible. BitTorrent is getting replaced with third party proxies so information stores can;t be traced. Small bands that give away their music are seeing increased sales of show tickets and merchandise. Old Brick and mortar retailers can't compete with eBay and Amazon, and the used market always offers the same art for less.

    Here's the basis for the end of copyright: the free market. The laws of supply and demand say anything for sale with an unlimited supply is worthless. Art is worthless -- the profit comes from how you package it (live versus CD) and what you offer as a value added incentive.
  • WikiLyrics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:17PM (#14206773)
    Every lyrics site I find is loaded full of ads, and I think they all steal from each other. Why isn't there a wikilyrics site?
    • Re:WikiLyrics (Score:5, Informative)

      by ewhac (5844) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:34PM (#14206884) Homepage Journal
      Why isn't there a wikilyrics site?

      There was (though it wasn't a Wiki). It was called lyrics.ch (which has since been domain-squatted by one songtext.net). It was compiled by avid music enthusiasts, and it contained the most complete and most accurate repository of song lyrics available...

      Until it was destroyed by the Harry Fox Agency [harryfox.com]. The Harry Fox Agency is the sole licensor of song lyrics worldwide, and saw lyrics.ch as unlicensed competition. So they had it exterminated. (lyrics.ch's mistake, if it could be called one, was that they accepted paid banner advertising to defray hosting costs. Sadly, this got creatively misinterpreted by the courts as unlawfully profiting off lyric distribution, violating Harry Fox Agency's monopoly rights.)

      So, yes, there was one, but it got destroyed. Don't expect a WikiLyrics site to show up in its place; it will get destroyed the same way.

      Schwab


  • If it adds them to some mp3 metadata, it has to copy them. That's copyright infringement if the lyrics are copyrighted.

    • by ghc71 (738171)
      Bah humbug. It's not copyright infringement, it's fair use. The lyrics are a small part excerpted from the work (which is both the lyrics and the music), and this app is non-profit and designed for reference.
      • The lyrics are probably a separately copyrighted work, so copying the lyrics is actually copying the whole work.

        Even if considered as part of the song, the lyrics are not a "small part".

        There's a _chance_ it's fair use, but most likely not. Copying a whole poem or book this way is the same thing. The fact that they're lyrics doesn't change the issue.
  • by John Whitley (6067) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:22PM (#14206808) Homepage
    Some of you here may remember the Vivarin Lyrics Server, the story of which is told here. [stereopsis.com]

    Some of the details of Vivarin's story are *very* interesting. The overall arc is similar to pearLyrics: a new search tool for lyrics is created, then eventually cease-and-desisted. But many of the details, and the early internet era in which they occured, make for a good read.

    It's sad, even pathetic, that in all these years the RIAA and its member companies haven't gotten even the least bit of clue. These sorts of search services add enourmous value. Thousands of people were able to identify and purchase music based on Vivarin's services ("what is that song, I remember a few words..?"). Heck, Warner's laywers called to provide thanks as Vivarin had helped them to win a legal case.

    I seriously hope that the RIAA's stranglehold doesn't let up before they realize that hold is around their collective neck.
  • I assume it's for the same reason they want sites with chords and/or notes for songs off the net, which is that it would affect sales of sheet music.

    For chords etc, that is definitely true. I wouldn't buy any if I could get the same thing online. For the texts I think it's much less valid, but it probably has some small effect.
  • Dang! (Score:4, Funny)

    by ChePibe (882378) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:30PM (#14206853)
    Now I'll NEVER figure out what Kurt Cobain was saying!
  • It's because the lyrics are a piece of the song. True, a tiny piece, but the RIAA is fighting for a world where you have to pay for each time you experience the song, based on their definition of experience wrapped by their DRM. They figure they paid the artist off, they own it now, and you can't know about it or listen to it unless you pony up the cash! Then it'll work for 6 months, and your subscription will expire, HA! Whoops, you've figured out how to transfer your iTunes songs and videos anonymousl
  • amaroK (Score:4, Informative)

    by Brent Spiner (919505) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:31PM (#14206867) Homepage
    I'm suprised no one has mentioned amaroK [kde.org]. It has a pretty cool built in feature that looks up lyrics, a band's Wikipedia page, and other neat stuff. They just came out with a new version too.

    I don't think there is an OS X native version, but it can be compiled with Fink. Other than the fact that you can't buy music I like it better than iTunes.
  • Slap back (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Given that, normally, the songwriter (or his/her publishing company) holds the copyrights to music and lyrics, how is that the record labels are putting themselves in a position to enforce lyric copyright?

    The record labels may have the rights to the artist's sound recordings, but the actual music and lyrics to any given song is another matter. If i were the Pearlyric author (which, btw, is a great widget on Mac OS X Tiger and, thankfully, continues to work), I would ask whomever sent the C&D notice to p
    • Re:Slap back (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcubed (556032)

      Given that, normally, the songwriter (or his/her publishing company) holds the copyrights to music and lyrics, how is that the record labels are putting themselves in a position to enforce lyric copyright?

      It's not "the record labels," it's Warner/Chappell, a music publishing company. A company like Warner/Chappell pays money to the songwriters for the exclusive rights to control publishing and reprinting of songs and lyrics. Therefore, they are very much in the position to complain about copyright inf

  • Progress (Score:3, Insightful)

    by porkface (562081) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @08:40PM (#14206920) Journal
    What happened here is that someone found out that some people will continue to buy CDs if that were the only way to get lyrics. But the cost of this effort is so much greater than any gains they'll see. It's not like that is one piece of the puzzle to stopping large scale piracy. It's not even comparable to chipping away at it.

    Their only hope is to come clean on pricing, availability, and a wide variety of interoperability features that consumers want. The longer they wait, the harder it's going to be. And meanwhile there are always artists with expiring contracts waiting to be swooped up by better labels, or self-publishing.

    The only thing these labels actually own are:
    - CD manufacturing and distribution: This is an antiquated technology that is well on its way out.
    - A Stranglehold arrangement for concert venues: Well known bands can work around this. New bands might soon plan to sign 1 contract with an RIAA label, and then go it alone (roughly like Harvey Danger).

    They no longer control marketing, or any of the new distribution options. Granted these "new distribution options" are all basically free downloads or illegal networks, but that's what they have to compete with. They could spend another ten years fighting those in court and be no better off. At some point someone will put together a better fee system, and begin to attract enough new and big name artists with expired contracts, and provide all of the features. If the labels want to survive, they had better be the ones to do it first. They still haven't even admitted they're to blame.
  • by wheatwilliams (605974) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @09:29PM (#14207155) Homepage
    I can't believe the posts I'm reading here, and how misunderstanding and unsympathetic you all are.

    Song lyrics are poems. They are written by professional lyricists. A person who writes song lyrics holds a copyright on what he's written, and he needs to protect that copyright in order to earn a living. Lyricists for pop songs don't get paid salaries. Their only chance is to earn royalties from sales.

    Weird Al Yankovic is an example. All of his hits are somebody else's music with Weird Al's lyrics. Lyrics are all he writes--well, he writes very little original music. For years he's had a message on his Web site urging his fans not to post his lyrics on Web pages, and not to read Web pages with his lyrics on them, because they violate his copyrights and reduce his ability to collect royalties on his work. If you want Al's lyrics, Al wants you to buy the CD with the lyric booklet in it.

    One of the main reasons people buy CDs is so they get the booklet inside that contains the lyrics. In previous generations, people bought sheet music or collections of lyrics in books called "broadsides" if they wanted to read the lyrics. This is how lyricists made income.

    If lyrics to copyrighted songs are posted all over the Internet, that's piracy. The person putting up the Web page is a pirate, and the people that read, download or copy those lyrics are committing piracy also.

    From the tenor of the posts I've read here, it seems that all of you recognize that a song, and a recording of the song, are things that the artists have a right to own and protect, but you seem to think that for some reason lyrics are exempt from that. They are not. You wouldn't tell Gilbert and Sullivan that Sullivan had the rights to earn royalties from the music, but Gilbert did not, because he wrote only lyrics and those are free. Same with Rodgers and Hammerstein. Both the music and the lyrics are intellectual property, and each hold their own copyright.
    • One of the main reasons people buy CDs is so they get the booklet inside that contains the lyrics

      Umm, no. One of the main reasons people buy CDs is to listen to the music.
    • Weird Al Yankovic is an example. All of his hits are somebody else's music with Weird Al's lyrics. Lyrics are all he writes--well, he writes very little original music.

      Uh, over half of the songs on a Yankovic album are originals. Including all of my favorites. Mr. Frump in the Iron Lung, Good Enough for Now, and One More Minute come to mind.

      For years he's had a message on his Web site urging his fans not to post his lyrics on Web pages, and not to read Web pages with his lyrics on them, because the

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @10:07PM (#14207411) Homepage
    The RIAA has nothing to do with lyrics. That's a composer rights issue, and is handled by ASCAP and BMI in the United States.

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