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Old 12-09-2005, 10:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Soon, no more searching for lyrics...

...bastards.

Song sites face legal crackdown
Quote:
The music industry is to extend its copyright war by taking legal action against websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics.

The Music Publishers' Association (MPA), which represents US sheet music companies, will launch its first campaign against such sites in 2006.

MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed.

He said unlicensed guitar tabs and song scores were widely available on the internet but were "completely illegal".

Mr Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can "throw in some jail time I think we'll be a little more effective".

Bitter battles

The move comes after several years of bitter legal battles against unauthorised services allowing users to download recordings for free.

Publishing companies have taken action against websites in the past, but this will be the first co-ordinated legal campaign by the MPA.

The MPA would target "very big sites that people would think are legitimate and very, very popular", Mr Keiser said.

"The Xerox machine was the big usurper of our potential income," he said. "But now the internet is taking more of a bite out of sheet music and printed music sales so we're taking a more proactive stance."

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers' Association, added his concerns.

"Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing," he said.

"Music publishers and songwriters will consider all tools under the law to stop this illegal behaviour."

Sandro del Greco, who runs Tabhall.co.uk, said the issue was not serious enough to warrant jail time and sites like his were not necessarily depriving publishers of income.

Learn

"I play the drums mainly but I play the guitar as well. I run the website and I still buy the [tab] books," he said.

"The tabs online aren't deadly accurate so if someone really wants to know it they'll buy the book.

"But most of the bands I listen to don't have tab books to buy so if you get them online, that's the only way you can really learn it unless you work it out yourself."

The campaign comes after lyric-finding software PearLyrics was forced off the internet by a leading music publishing company, Warner Chappell.

'No alternative'

PearLyrics worked with Apple's iTunes, searching the internet to find lyrics for songs in a user's collection.

"I just don't see why PearLyrics should infringe the copyright of Warner Chappell because all I'm doing is searching publicly-available websites," PearLyrics developer Walter Ritter said.

"It would be different if they had an alternative service that also provided lyrics online and also integrated [with iTunes] like PearLyrics did.

"But they don't offer anything like that at all."

Warner Chappell were unavailable for comment.
Here's my deal: if you can get the singers to pronounce all of their words clearly, you can go ahead and take the lyrics sites down. Until then, no.
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah. And R.E.M. must now and forever put their lyrics in the freaking CD booklet.

Michael Stipe had to look up the lyrics to the "End Of The World..." on the net to perform it recently. So, he should bust himself.

By this Keiser guy's logic, guitarists who figure out the tabs themselves will also be criminals. What next, a copyright on the G chord?
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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idiots.

the only time i buy CDs are when i know which one to buy. this requires hearing a song on the radio, and then *looking up the song by searching for lyrics*

Unless stations want to spend airtime tagging songs at the beginning and end, which they don't, since they can sell that time...

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers' Association, added his concerns.

"Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing," he said.
You notice how the injured party in all of these debates are always representatives of music publishers, but always talk about how it hurts the artists? Funnily enough, it's not too hard to find a great deal of reportage expressing how publishers are already screwing artists.
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlemon
...bastards.


you tell 'em buddy..........




....now you're talkin' my language.



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Old 12-09-2005, 08:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I guess Pearl Jam cover bands are gonna be shit outta luck
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What a crock of shit. Bloated label execs just shaking everyone down to make a buck.
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing"

huh? how does it hurt the artist if people can look up the lyrics from the web? tablature also. there's no sense in that sentence.
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It doesn't. What it does hurt is the publisher's ability to wring a few more cents out of their artists' work by selling books of the music/lyrics. Back in the mid-90s, me and my friends used to get hold of books of music for our favourite albums.

Of course, we used to get them from the library and photocopy the songs we wanted...
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Old 12-10-2005, 01:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 12-10-2005, 03:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't see how this is enforcable. Even if the American courts uphold this (unlikely, in my opinion) that doesn't guarantee that it will be upheld all over the world.

Quoting lyrics is like quoting anything else; so long as the source is credited and an individual doesn't try to represent the material as their own work, it falls under fair use.

This latest move by the labels is stupid, but essentially meaningless.

EDIT - also, I tend to use song lyrics that represent how I'm feeling in my signature. I wonder if that means that I'm depriving artists or money?
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I hope to hell this doesn't work, cause I'd be nowhere without tabs... fuck.
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Old 12-11-2005, 03:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian
I don't see how this is enforcable. Even if the American courts uphold this (unlikely, in my opinion) that doesn't guarantee that it will be upheld all over the world.

Quoting lyrics is like quoting anything else; so long as the source is credited and an individual doesn't try to represent the material as their own work, it falls under fair use.
This is certainly not the case in the U.S., but I can't speak specifically for elsewhere. For one thing, it's generally impossible to say that a borderline use like this IS or ISN'T fair use until it's been tested in court.

As for determining this, 17 USC Chapter 1 107 is what establishes fair use in the U.S.:
Quote:
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
So this case of copying and distributing a copyrighted work we're talking about, song lyrics (the melody and the lyrics of a song have copyright protection), may not fall afoul of factor (1), though it's not exactly educational either, but certainly the copyright owner may argue that it does fall afoul of (3) and (4). Specifically that they're distributing the work in its entirety and that clearly this may have an impact on its market value since it's freely available where otherwise the copyright owner could charge. It's up to the courts, but I highly doubt the outcome would be favorable to the distributors. (For similar reasons, TFP posters reposting articles instead of simply linking to them is legally dubious, but probably not to as much of a degree, and I figure it's a lot less likely that the article writers would object)

Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingdog
You notice how the injured party in all of these debates are always representatives of music publishers, but always talk about how it hurts the artists? Funnily enough, it's not too hard to find a great deal of reportage expressing how publishers are already screwing artists.
It's the record companies that most of the complaining is done about. Record companies and publishers are generally seperate entities, though it's common for record companies to also publish and there probably exist publishers that also make records. (Publishers deal with song rights and record companies deal with rights to the specific recordings that are put on CDs, etc.) In my understanding, a 50/50 split of revenue between the publisher and the songwriter is common, whereas record labels typically pay the artists (another distinction between the songwriter and the artist that is often lost), especially new artists, considerably less.

Last edited by n0nsensical; 12-11-2005 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian
Quoting lyrics is like quoting anything else; so long as the source is credited and an individual doesn't try to represent the material as their own work, it falls under fair use.
I don't know if that is true or not but if it is true then all the labels have to do is use their congressional pissboys to change the law. It will happen.
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