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Lyric Sites In Trouble With The MPA

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the great-artists-are-just-mumbling-anyhow dept.

Music 666

Joe the Lesser writes "Apparently the Music Publishers Association is cracking down on sites, like LyricFind, that display song lyrics without permission. 'Just because there is no central licensing body it doesn't make it right to take lyrics and publish them without permission.' says Sarah Faulder of the MPA."

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OMG PRON WTFFFFF (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953103)

Sarah Faulder IS some kind of PR0NSTAR!!11

Re:OMG PRON WTFFFFF (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953132)

Well, the fact that she sucks and fucks cocks for a living doesn't mean that she can't stand up and defend the right of artists' IP.

If they are making money out of it... (4, Insightful)

redcliffe (466773) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953107)

then yes there should be royalties paid to the copyright owners. Non-profit users shouldn't have to though.

Question: (5, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953137)

If there is no central licensing body, who gave authority to the MPA to sue LyricFind on behalf of the copyright holders?



Re:Question: (1)

redcliffe (466773) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953204)

No one. I didn't suggest paying them. In the music industry there are companies that represent large numbers of songwriters. So they should pay the companies representing the particular writers a reasonable commission to be able to publish the lyrics. (1, Insightful)

grolschie (610666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953213)

If a site distributes copied cd's for _free_ (eg: mp3 files or an iso image) and they are not making any money out of it, then it is still theft. This is no different.

Intellectual property of music is more than just the recording of it. There's the sheetmusic/score/tab as well as lyrics and recordings. (5, Insightful)

MartinG (52587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953276)

then it is still theft.

It is not theft whether it is paid for or not. It is copyright infringement. This idea that copyright infringement is theft was invented by copyright holders and those who profit from strong copyright protection. If you look at copyright law you will see that it is legally quite different from theft. (and rightly so IMO) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953293)

No, it's not theft.


Someone should sue me and /. on Ween's behalf.

Re:If they are making money out of it... (5, Insightful)

Alan Cox (27532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953281)

If they don't include the lyrics maybe the hearing impared should simply sue them back. There are lots of people who can enjoy music but whose hearing isnt good enough to pull the lyrics out of the music.

Words? (5, Interesting)

kupo zero (581452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953108)

How is this wrong? If you simply listen to the lyrics, you can learn a whole song by heart, without permission. Are they going to crack down on people with good memories too?

Re:Words? (5, Informative)

ramzak2k (596734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953111)

Its not for knowing the lyrics in a song , it is for republishing it.

Re:Words? (1, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953154)

See, I don't get the difference. What is the difference if I tell you the lyrics, or post them on my website?

Copyright on the song, sure. But on the fscking lyrics? That's just anal.

Re:Words? (1)

ramzak2k (596734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953162)

See, I don't get the difference. What is the difference if I tell you the lyrics, or post them on my website? publishing them would allow them to be easily reproduced - accurately.

Re:Words? (3, Interesting)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953196)

Well, gee. I can see how *that's* aweful. 'Cuz the last thing any song writer wants people to know is what his lyrics are! Think of what would happen if everyone knew the lyrics to their songs? Mass hysteria my friend, mass hysteria.

Seriously. They've got a copyright on something a guy stands in front of thousands of people at a time singing. I just don't get it. This doesn't hurt *anybody*.

Re:Words? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953256)

What is the difference if I let you listen to a song, or post an MP3 of it on my website?

Re:Words? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953287)

The difference of course is distribution. but If I read you the lyrics or quote them to you, you can in turn pass them on which is called distribution.

Re:Words? (1)

Dreetje (672686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953284)

Actually you can't just copy books either. How much different are they from lyrics?

What I really wonder about is, what do the songwriters think of this?
It's not like these sites publish lyrics before they are being produced into a song right? And the lyrics alone don't make a song.

Can I sing them ? (5, Funny)

MrFenty (579353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953109)

Am I still allowed to sing (off key) to a song in the shower, without owning the original cd ?

Re:Can I sing them ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953116)

Only if you stop playing with your conducting wand.

Re:Can I sing them ? (5, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953139)

Only if nobody hears you. If they hear you, then it's a performance and you have to pay royalties. You might be safe if people hear you and don't enjoy it, though...

Re:Can I sing them ? (1)

Kumkwat (312490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953248)

This is defined as being a "fair use" of the material, as long as u are not benefiting commerically from singing it.

Re:Can I sing them ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953142)

Depends on whether your neighbours can hear you. If they can you are doing a public performance and should be charged accordingly.

Re:Can I sing them ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953161)

Only until they install the DRM chip in your brain. Then only a small, hardware-secured portion of your brain will be allowed to sing.

Name that tune: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953110)

Waldo Jeffers had reached his limit. It was now Mid-August which meant he had
been separated from Marsha for more than two months. Two months, and all he had
to show was three dog-eared letters and two very expensive long-distance phone
calls. True, when school had ended and she'd returned to Wisconsin, and he to
Locust, Pennsylvania, she had sworn to maintain a certain fidelity. She would
date occasionally, but merely as amusement. She would remain faithful.

But lately Waldo had begun to worry. He had trouble sleeping at night and when
he did, he had horrible dreams. He lay awake at night, tossing and turning
underneath his pleated quilt protector, tears welling in his eyes as he
pictured Marsha, her sworn vows overcome by liquor and the smooth soothing of
some neanderthal, finally submitting to the final caresses of sexual oblivion.
It was more than the human mind could bear.

Visions of Marsha's faithlessness haunted him. Daytime fantasies of sexual
abandon permeated his thoughts. And the thing was, they wouldn't understand how
she really was. He, Waldo, alone understood this. He had intuitively grasped
every nook and cranny of her psyche. He had made her smile. She needed him, and
he wasn't there (Awww...).

The idea came to him on the Thursday before the Mummers' Parade was scheduled
to appear. He'd just finished mowing and etching the Edelsons lawn for a dollar
fifty and had checked the mailbox to see if there was at least a word from
Marsha. There was nothing but a circular from the Amalgamated Aluminum Company
of America inquiring into his awing needs. At least they cared enough to write.

It was a New York company. You could go anywhere in the mails. Then it struck
him. He didn't have enough money to go to Wisconsin in the accepted fashion,
true, but why not mail himself? It was absurdly simple. He would ship himself
parcel post, special delivery. The next day Waldo went to the supermarket to
purchase the necessary equipment. He bought masking tape, a staple gun and a
medium sized cardboard box just right for a person of his build. He judged that
with a minimum of jostling he could ride quite comfortably. A few airholes,
some water, perhaps some midnight snacks, and it would probably be as good as
going tourist.

By Friday afternoon, Waldo was set. He was thoroughly packed and the post
office had agreed to pick him up at three o'clock. He'd marked the package
"Fragile", and as he sat curled up inside, resting on the foam rubber
cushioning he'd thoughtfully included, he tried to picture the look of awe and
happiness on Marshas face as she opened her door, saw the package, tipped the
deliverer, and then opened it to see her Waldo finally there in person. She
would kiss him, and then maybe they could see a movie. If he'd only thought of
this before. Suddenly rough hands gripped his package and he felt himself borne
up. He landed with a thud in a truck and was off.

Marsha Bronson had just finished setting her hair. It had been a very rough
weekend. She had to remember not to drink like that. Bill had been nice about
it though. After it was over he'd said he still respected her and, after all,
it was certainly the way of nature, and even though, no he didn't love her, he
did feel an affection for her. And after all, they were grown adults. Oh, what
Bill could teach Waldo - but that seemed many years ago.

Sheila Klein, her very, very best friend, walked in through the porch screen
door and into the kitchen. "Oh gawd, it's absolutely maudlin outside." "Ach, I
know what you mean, I feel all icky!" Marsha tightened the belt on her cotton
robe with the silk outer edge. Sheila ran her finger over some salt grains on
the kitchen table, licked her finger and made a face. "I'm supposed to be
taking these salt pills, but," she wrinkled her nose, "they make me feel like
throwing up." Marsha started to pat herself under the chin, an exercise she'd
seen on television. "God, don't even talk about that." She got up from the
table and went to the sink where she picked up a bottle of pink and blue
vitamins. "Want one? Supposed to be better than steak," and then attempted to
touch her knees. "I don't think I'll ever touch a daiquiri again."

She gave up and sat down, this time nearer the small table that supported the
telephone. "Maybe Bill'll call," she said to Sheila's glance. Sheila nibbled on
a cuticle. "After last night, I thought maybe you'd be through with him." "I
know what you mean. My God, he was like an octopus. Hands all over the place."
She gestured, raising her arms upwards in defense. "The thing is, after a
while, you get tired of fighting with him, you know, and after all I didn't
really do anything Friday and Saturday so I kind of owed it to him. You know
what I mean." She started to scratch. Sheila was giggling with her hand over
her mouth. "I'll tell you, I felt the same way, and even after a while," here
she bent forward in a whisper, "I wanted to!" Now she was laughing very loudly.

It was at this point that Mr. Jameson of the Clarence Darrow Post Office rang
the doorbell of the large stucco colored frame house. When Marsha Bronson
opened the door, he helped her carry the package in. He had his yellow and his
green slips of paper signed and left with a fifteen cent tip that Marsha had
gotten out of her mother's small beige pocketbook in the den. "What do you
think it is?" Sheila asked. Marsha stood with her arms folded behind her back.
She stared at the brown cardboard carton that sat in the middle of the living
room. "I dunno."

Inside the package, Waldo quivered with excitement as he listened to the
muffled voices. Sheila ran her fingernail over the masking tape that ran down
the center of the carton. "Why don't you look at the return address and see who
it's from?" Waldo felt his heart beating. He could feel the
vibrating footsteps. It would be soon.

Marsha walked around the carton and read the ink-scratched label. "Ah, god,
it's from Waldo!" "That schmuck!" said Sheila. Waldo trembled with expectation.
"Well, you might as well open it," said Sheila. Both of them tried to lift the
staple flap. "Ah sst," said Marsha, groaning, "he must have nailed it shut."
They tugged on the flap again. "My God, you need a power drill to get this
thing open!" They pulled again. "You can't get a grip." They both stood still,
breathing heavily.

"Why don't you get a scissor," said Sheila. Marsha ran into the kitchen, but
all she could find was a little sewing scissor. Then she remembered that her
father kept a collection of tools in the basement. She ran downstairs, and when
she came back up, she had a large sheet metal cutter
in her hand. "This is the best I could find." She was very out of breath.
"Here, you do it. I-I'm gonna die." She sank into a large fluffy couch and
exhaled noisily. Sheila tried to make a slit between the masking tape and the
end of the cardboard flap, but the blade was too big and there wasn't enough
room. "God damn this thing!" she said feeling very exasperated. Then smiling,
"I got an idea." "What?" said Marsha. "Just watch," said Sheila, touching her
finger to her head.

Inside the package, Waldo was so transfixed with excitement that he could
hardly breathe. His skin felt prickly from the heat, and he could feel his
heart beating in his throat. It would be soon. Sheila stood quite upright and
walked around to the other side of the package. Then she sank down to her
knees, grasped the cutter by both handles, took a deep breath, and plunged the
long blade through the middle of the package, through the masking tape, through
the cardboard, through the cushioning and (thud) right through the center of
Waldo Jeffers head, which split slightly and caused little rhythmic arcs of red
to pulsate gently in the morning sun.

Re:Name that tune: The Gift (1)

Onan The Librarian (126666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953217)

It's by the Velvet Underground, it's called "The Gift".

Re:Name that tune: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953286)

Funny? WTF moderators. Try off-topic!

lyrics for American Life by Madonna (4, Funny)

ramzak2k (596734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953121)

la lala lala LA !, la la lala Luh !..

Re:lyrics for American Life by Madonna (5, Funny)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953160)

Shouldn't that be

"What the fuck do you think you are doing".

That's the way mine goes.


I thought otherwise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953267)

Morgan Webb, will you marry me???!?

Re:lyrics for American Life by Madonna (1)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953283)

Shouldn't that be
"What the fuck do you think you are doing".
That's the way mine goes.

I can only hope to see a hall-full of thousands of her fans, booing "what the fuck do you think you're doing" over any attmpted song at a concert.

Is there anyone else in the world dumb enough to publically and personally insult every one of their customers?

(yes, customers. Those are the people using P2p. The people downloading songs are the same people who buy those same songs)

If it's not legal by law, then it must be illegal (1)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953124)

'Just because there is no central licensing body it doesn't make it right to take lyrics and publish them without permission.' says Sarah Faulder of the MPA.

In other words: "If something is not explicitly allowed by the law, it must be illegal".

That's nice reasoning.

Re:If it's not legal by law, then it must be illeg (0, Troll)

Talez (468021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953136)

Last time I checked, redistributing copyrighted material is illegal.

What she means is that "just because nobody is there to sell them the right to redistribute lyrics doesn't give them the right to just do it anyway".

Re:If it's not legal by law, then it must be illeg (1)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953263)

What she means is that "just because nobody is there to sell them the right to redistribute lyrics doesn't give them the right to just do it anyway".

What they're saying by their actions is: We don't have the resources to offer you a license to reproduce the lyrics in a web database that serves our members in a positive manner. Instead, we have plenty of resources to have lawyers to send out threatening letters for not having a license we won't provide to you.

Does this make ANY sense to anyone other than the lawyers who are getting paid, while the artists are not?

Radio Free Berkeley (1)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953171)

That's how the FCC finally shut down the micro-broadcasting [] of Free Radio Berkeley [] .

The FCC won on a technicality that since FRB never applied for a non-existent micro-broadcast license, they were in violation of FCC rules.

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953127)

A study shows that if all corperate docuhe bags died in a plane crash, the following events would occur... World peace would be upon us. SARS, AIDS, Cancer and the common cold will instantly have cures. The violence in the middle east will end. All cars will run on water (salt water).

More at 11.

Lyrics (4, Insightful)

Gryftir (161058) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953128)

This seems asinine to me. Don't free lyrics serve to enhance the listening experience? It seems to me that they are most likely to increase music sales.

I mean isn't this fair use? I'll admit I'm still a bit hazy on the concept as it relates to this sort of non-commercial use, so would some kindly slashdotter explain how it would apply in this situation? Or are they talking about commercial lyrics sites? (I suppose such exist). I know I personally use a russian server for most of my lyric searches, and I'm aware Russian intelectual property law is or was rather spotty.

Re:Lyrics (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953203)

This seems asinine to me. Don't free lyrics serve to enhance the listening experience?

Oh yes. Particularly when the singers mumble a whole lot and expect everyone to understand automatically =)

Maybe the music publishers think that lack of printed lyrics also enhances the listening experience [] , just the other way around, and probably more creatively too...

Re:Lyrics (1)

jodo (209027) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953254)

There was a time, long, long ago when the music business was based almost exclusively on the sale of sheet music. This attitude is a holdover from this era, circa 1910.
Today the easy availabilty of lyrics makes the performance of a given song more likely and ultimately enhances the value of the copyright. Who buys sheet music for lyrics anymore? These people should find another gig.
Oh, and if the true lyrics of Louie, Louie are posted could someone post them here.

Lyrics are copyrighted (3, Insightful)

Talez (468021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953130)

Unless you're a top songwriter you basically get paid dirt.

Songwriters should be allowed to make money off the lyrics since they wrote them in the first place.

That being said, I think LyricFind and the MPA should sit down and work out a licensing agreement with each other to work out a deal that benefits all three parites involved (Songwriters, LyricFind and consumers).

Five words for you my friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953144)

Information wants to be free!

Re:Lyrics are copyrighted (1)

Fulkkari (603331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953148)

That being said, I think LyricFind and the MPA should sit down and work out a licensing agreement with each other to work out a deal that benefits all three parites

Agreed. MPA has no right to break the law just because someone else does.

Oops. (1)

Fulkkari (603331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953200)

Sorry to reply to myself, but it does seem that the site wasn't _cracked_, as I understood from the post. Forget about it. :)

Errare humanu est.

Re:Lyrics are copyrighted (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953186)

they do make money, by selling the rights to someone to sing the song. music is much different than a book/article. the author doesn't make money off the publishing and people reading the written words, songwriters (however little) earn money off selling to someone else the right to sing the song.

most lyric sites aren't making money off of publishing lyrics. i think the copyright laws should allow for non-profit publishing of song material. no one else can still sing the song as a performance w/o giving credit (piece of he pie) to the songwriter.

That's really hurting the music industry. (5, Interesting)

LemurShop (585831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953140)

RIAA is seriously making some good efforts in keeping everyone hating it's guts. Can anyone even speculate how lyrics sites hurt the industry? Dont bother saying "provides pirates with track titles", most official artist sites have lyricks and track listings. RIAA is slowly but surely shooting its own foot.

Re:That's really hurting the music industry. (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953249)

This article is about the mpa [] and not RIAA.
MPA might be an RIAA puppet of some kind, I don't know.

Whats Next ? (1)

unisol54 (606309) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953145)

RIAA and its minions roaming the streets with brainwave scanners to see if you are thinking about licensed songs ? :S

That's crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953146)

That's just crazy. You mean I can't download the lyrics to sing to my favorite songs anymore? What I now have to paid for the lyrics? What's next, I have to paid to sing my favorite songs. This is getting more ridiculous by the day!

Ah, the iron fist. (5, Insightful)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953147)

You'd think by now these people would understand that if you can search a snippet of lyric and the complete lyrics show up, then you'll know who the artist is and can go out and buy the album that may have been unknown to you before.

Um, excuse me? Don't you want to sell more albums and get more royalties?

I guess not.

Re:Ah, the iron fist. (1)

dago (25724) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953202)

"Don't you want to sell more albums and get more royalties?"

No exactly. They just want more money. They don't care about the albums.

Can't find the site back, but numbers showed that numbers of albums decreased, and, even when sales decrease, money gained by albums went up from around 350US$ in the beginning of the '90 to more than 500 kUS$ now.

I believe it. (1)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953231)

I believe it. It's tough to find a store that sells CDs for less than $18 each nowadays. I refuse to buy a CD for more than $13.

It's just like the theatre company I used to work for. They charged around $38 for the cheapest seats and up to around $75 for the best. They didn't often sell out shows, but had a loyal subscriber base. The question I always wondered, though, is whether it is better to sell out at a slightly lower price that more people can afford or hope you'll sell out at the higher price?

Less CDs are selling because more of them suck. Yet, the prices are going up while the production costs are NOT.

unfathomable (5, Insightful)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953261)

I can't count the number of times I've gone to a lyrics site to find a song name/title/artist based soley on a line of lyrics.

C'mon... everyone's had an old song running through their head from time to time, where they can remember only a line or two. Enter that line into any lyric site (or google with quotation marks around it), find the song, and mark it down on your "future purchases" list.

What the hell is the matter with these people? I suppose if they want to cut their own throats they're free to do so, but sheesh...

This has to be a hoax; no organization dedicated to making money can survive long with this level of stupidity.

Customer service? What for? That's the enemy. (3, Interesting)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953291)

It's no hoax. As someone else pointed out, this has happened before. was fantastic but it got killed by this kind of action.

They required that the lyrics not be presented in text, so they had to devise a method that presented the lyrics in some kind of applet so end users couldn't grab 'em all wholesale.

The end result: if you didn't user Windows you couldn't use the site.

I stopped visiting, which, of course, was the point of their actions.

Who is loosing what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953151)

Tell me how the artist is loosing money or it's IP with such sites?

Yes, as stated before me, it enchances the listening experience.

And all the credits are there. I know that I'm looking to the lyrics of NIN, not Celine Dion. And NIN is not loosing any money. I did not violate anything.

Neither that I will print out the lyrics and ask 5$/CD on the street...

What about internet sales of music, too? (1)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953247)

This brings up an interesting question in my mind:

What about those of you who are purchasing MP3's, AAC's, and whatnot on the web for $0.99/song. Are you not entitled to the lyrics sheet just because you didn't pay for packaging?

don't sing along -- you might be next (5, Funny)

misterpies (632880) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953153)

Why stop at banning reproduction of song lyrics?

What we really need to do is clamp down on people who actually _sing_ those songs, out loud, without paying a royalty. And I'm not talking just street musicians -- what about those immoral folks who sing in the shower? And the even more wicked ones -- since they try to conceal their crimes -- yes, people who hum along in their heads.

Let's face it. It's wrong. The original artist (via the record company) has complete control over how the music is to be experienced. Any performance not sanctioned by them is clearly illegal. And worse, all those folks who heard you sing would otherwise have bought the CD, so you're losing sales -- stealing from the artist.
Not only that, but someone could record you singing the song, even if the original CD was copy protected, which would clearly be a breach of the DMCA.

I know theft when I see it.

What would be OK? (2, Insightful)

JanMark (547992) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953156)

Would it be all right to publis lyrics if they were changed in any way? I'll refrase that, would it be ok to publish lyrics in ALL CAPS and call that the BIFF version? (And putting it in the Public Domain?)

Reproducing lyrics in text could be considred an art form (for sure there will be differences).

How about a search-only lyric site? Where you can google for that song that goes: "... hu hu hu what ever you mean ... hu hu ... don't know why ..."

Why in the hell would anyone object to the reproduction of lyrics?

Editors do it again! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953158)

What the fuck is with all these typos?!?

It's not MPA. It's MPAA!

This is a surprise? (4, Interesting)

dirk (87083) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953165)

I don't know why anyone is surprised by this. Lyrics are basically poems, and no one would argue that poetry isn't covered by copyright. If I wanted to put up a page of poetry, I would have to contact the individual copyright holders and get their permission. Why is it people think music is somehow different from other forms of art and can be readily and freely stolen?

Re:This is a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953225)

Poems are the end product... You go out and buy a book full of text, that's it. In lyrics, that's not the case. You can buy a cd full of songs you don't understand what they are saying but like the sound (I like Craddle of Filth).
So, lyrics are not basically poems. If they were there would be no pop music :-P

Re:This is a surprise? (2, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953234)

Why is it people think music is somehow different from other forms of art and can be readily and freely stolen?
Listen to yourself. Me listening to a CD with other overhearing may be considered 'stealing' in your world! Everyone within earshot should pay a royalty!

Lyrics are *part* of a song. Not the entire work. I don't understand why reproducing it is *stealing* the song. One would think the *artists* would *want* people to know what they are saying! Next we crack-down on people who hum tunes in public? Sing in the shower? Tell other people the lyrics to a song (different from publishing them how?)? 'Cuz lord knows if somebody *could* have made a buck selling the information, then you must be stealing it!

This whole "I created foo, you can't use foo in any manner I deem unworthy" attitude is just driving me freaking nuts.

Re:This is a surprise? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953236)

Poetry is a text based artform. Musical lyrics (most of which can't even be called poetry) are not exactly rocket science - it's the music people pay for not the inane lyrics except in extremely rare cases.

I would like to see the business case for how lyrics damage record sales.

If lyrics are protected and cannot be published or read, where does fair use end? Can music reviewers still write reviews with lyric snippets?

Is posting the technical specifications of a product illegal once it has hit the market and ANYONE can get them for free, just like lyrics?

The only argument I see is that having the lyrics on a site generates traffic that can potentially generate profit for a site - so you are profitting from the artists work. But by that same logic, just having the name of the song listed on your site generates the same traffic. Are those now illegal to publish as well? Is it also illegal to place the singer's or group's name on the site, because that may also generate traffic? Are unofficial fan and gossip sites illegal because they generate profit for the creator?

The answer is yes. Remember all those lawsuits folks scoffed about when, for example, the Crayola corporation shut down multiple websites about their crayons, and *Ty (beanie babies) did the same? They even went so far as to serve legal papers to quake clans for using their names - and they could because they had the money to back up their legal departments insane claims.

Welcome to 1984.

Re:This is a surprise? (1)

sprdelfin (672671) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953271)

Poems are by their nature a written artform - if you publish someone's poems, you are publishing the entirety of their work, and I dont think that anyone would dispute that that is wrong. In my opinion, things are a little bit more hazy for song lyrics. For one thing, a lot of what you will find on lyrics sites is people guessing at what the artist might be singing. So you're getting someone's interpretation of a work rather than the work itself. Then things get even more hazy with lyrics copied out of liner notes. But even if that's illegal, I can't see how it's something that's worth objecting to - as an artist, it's much easier to get any message you have across if people can actually tell what you're saying.

Attacking more customers... (5, Interesting)

Paddyish (612430) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953167)

I remember when the MPA tried to shut down the online guitar archive [] which is home to tons of ways to play popular music on a guitar - all interpretations, like someone showing you how they figured a song out from listening to the radio. The MPA used the lyric argument there, too. (this was in the pre-Napster time)
Then, P2P happened. All I gotta say is, you reap what you sow.

That is all.

Re:Attacking more customers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953259)

'you reap what you sow' is a part of a lyric from 'perfect day'!! WATCH IT!!!

Please post the MOAB ascii (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953170)

Thnx. (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953173)

On my favorite lyrics site, [] , the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth demanded their lyrics removed from the site [] .

Most metal bands provide their lyrics on their homepages, as well as tablatures.
AFAIK, this is the only case on darklyrics, where the band has gotten the lyrics removed, even though most bands know about this site.

Lyric sites are good! (5, Funny)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953175)

Even if there sole purpose is to stop the muppet next to you with a walkman singing "Whats a glove got to do with it"

Re:Lyric sites are good! (2, Funny)

flippet (582344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953243)

Even if there sole purpose is to stop the muppet next to you with a walkman singing "Whats a glove got to do with it"

The Archive of Misheard Lyrics: [] , named after the line in Hendrix's Purple Sky...


Lyric availability (3, Insightful)

graveyardjohn (672128) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953181)

I have personally bought loads of albums where there are no lyrics printed on the sleeve. For example, attempting to understand Moby shouting through his 'Animal Rights' album is particularly difficult without being able to follow exactly what he's saying, and websites where people have *translated* his shouting/singing have been beneficial and added to the experience. Besides, if the artist doesn't provide written lyrics on the sleeve, why should it be illegal for someone to write and post an approximation (because that's all its likely to be with a lot of heavy rock/punk albums) so listeners can sing along?

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me... (2, Funny)

shic (309152) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953182)

Somebody had to stop this form of intellectual theft - the music business has done everything within their power to prevent the derisory practice of unlicensed shower performances - nonsense rhymes by artists with poor articulation etc. Clearly something had to be done or risk the entire population embarking on a karaoke binge.

This is silly.. (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953185)

The main reason for using these sites is when you have a CD that didn't come with printed lyrics and you want to know just what they are screaming about.. It's not like you have any reason to use these sites if you don't already have the music. Of course, you could download the music and the lyrics, but then you're building a strawman..


Next up for US lawmakers (4, Interesting)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953187)

After their pockets have been suitably lined for the trouble-

Without owning the CD, or the rights, you can't:

Sing it,
tell a friend,
write it down,
remember it,
listen to a friend's copy,
listen to it in someone else's car
hear someone sing it (excepting the band, provided you paid them in the first place)

am I missing anything?

This is assinine.

Re:Next up for US lawmakers (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953250)

Bravo. Full agreement here.

IF ( we could squeeze money out of selling 'foo' && you give 'foo' away )
You're a dirty rotten theif. Rot in hell.
} (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953189)

suck it b1tches

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953209)

oh yeah im suckin it

That's how I buy my music (3, Interesting)

objwiz (166131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953191)

I use those sites to find out the who and what for song. Typically I hear something on the radio but I don't know who is signing it. All I can remember is phrase from it. So I use those phrases to search the net and find the song title and band. All the music industry is doing to me is reducing the likelihood that I will buy another album.

RIAA lobby congress to impose tax on all paper (5, Funny)

goldcd (587052) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953201)

"We feel it is only fair to compensate our members for the loss of earnings caused by the illegitimate transcription of unlicensed lyrics"

I could understand (1)

mental_telepathy (564156) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953206)

If someone was publishing sheet music. Clearly, there is a great deal of creativity involved there. But do we really need to protect gems like "Na Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na Na?"
If you really have a problem with what the MPA (not the RIAA) is doing, you can Let them know [mailto]

It's about making "piracy" more difficult (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953212)

I suppose their "reasoning" goes like this: legally produced albums often come with lyrics. If people download music illegally, they don't get the album, so they must download the lyrics.

Therefore, in theory, I think it's ethic for them to go after people who publish lyrics that came printed with the original album. On the other hand, if the album didn't come with the lyrics, to prosecute people who listen to the music and publish what they heard is ridiculous, those people are contributing to increase sales.

I wouldn't mind so much.. (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953214)

... if they had a replacement in place before they took donw the illegal sites. There is obviously a lot of interest in getting the lyrics to the songs and not everybody prints them on the CD sleeve (added value guys!) but if you're going to ban these sites, replace them with soemthing for your customers!

What the hell (3, Interesting)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953216)

Everyone take a pledge and put up the lyrics of any one song in your personal web space. Suppose 100000 of these turn up overnight, what can they do about it? If they send you a C&D then take the page off; there will still be 99999 sites left.

Finding them will still be easy: if you know 2 or 3 words of a song, type those words + authorname + songtitle + the word lyrics into google and you're still going to find it just as easily.

moron cyphering the iPoo(tm) ?pr? execrable (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953218)

if you don't know the words, just hum along with the music.

Microsoft Tries Flush Away Its iLoo Snafu

Filed at 6:10 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES ( Reuters) - Is it a Web-surfing portable toilet or a public relations nightmare -- or both?

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O) reversed its position for the second time in 24 hours on Tuesday over whether or not it had ever planned to launch a portable toilet with a built-in Internet terminal in Britain this summer.

On Monday, the world's largest software maker had said the ``iLoo,'' which was described in minute detail in an April 30 press release by its British subsidiary, was a hoax and apologized for any ``confusion or offense.''

But on Tuesday Microsoft switched its story and said that the iLoo had been a legitimate project by its British MSN Internet service that was terminated after the initial announcement prompted controversy, ridicule and disgust.

``Corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington, looked at it and decided maybe this wasn't a good idea,'' said Lisa Gurry, MSN group product manager.

Gurry said the iLoo had been intended as part of a public relations campaign to promote the company's money-losing MSN service in unexpected places. The same campaign had previously featured Web access on London park benches and beach chairs in France.

Newspapers and news services, including Reuters, the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, reported on Microsoft's initial iLoo announcement.

Reuters also ran a detailed conceptual diagram of the iLoo, which was to have featured fast Internet access and an adjustable flat-panel display.

Public response was mixed. Letters published on Monday in one of Microsoft's hometown newspapers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, questioned the hygiene of sharing a keyboard in a public toilet and whether the iLoo was real.

``Knowing Microsoft, though, it probably won't be perfected until Version 2.0,'' the newspaper commented.

After Microsoft said on Monday that the project was a hoax, Reuters issued a retraction of its story published last week.

``Don't tell me they're trying to flush the story down,'' said Russ Cooper, a computer security expert and longtime Microsoft gadfly.

``The only worse thing they could have done with this PR debacle was to have officially announced that the iLoo was going to run 'Bob' -- the failed operating system that went down the toilet.''

Microsoft, meanwhile, said its focus now was ``to ensure that this type of confusion doesn't happen again.''

``Our top priority right now is making sure that a couple of MiSstatements from yesterday are corrected,'' Gurry said.

--lookout bullow. the daze of the Godless payper liesense hostage ransom stock markup FraUDs, is dissolving into coolapps.

more on making sure this doesN'T happen again, at

Master plan (1)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953226)

1. Prevent people from finding which track the lyrics they remember are from.
2. People can't find out which CD to buy.
3. Watch sales plummet even further.
4. Blame file sharing for lost revenue.
5. ???
6. Profit!

Second language. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953229)

English is my second language.

Sometimes having a lyric sheet around helps not only understanding what the artist said, but learning the spelling of the word too. I really like when the lyric sheets come with the CD's, i think it adds to the value of the CD as a whole.

Im wondering what are the MPA's true motivation.. if the site isnt really doing a profit with "their" (?) lyrics, and helps people enjoy their CDs a little more and/or educate them... what's wrong with that?

This is just dumb... (1)

DynamiteNeon (623949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953230)

Maybe someone should copyright the word "the" and go around suing all these artists for royalties.

It amazes me that these organizations are so idiotic they don't realize they're just alienating the fans and making them more annoyed with every dumb legal action.

In some way, I guess I don't mind so much. If these companies continue with such dumb actions, it will start to register with the general public (people not reading /.) and some things might start to get changed.

RIAA increases scope of copy protection schemes (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953232)

"From today not only will we encourage our members to publish music on copy-protects CDs, we will also be asking them to print lyric books as red on red." He continued "Legitimate users will be able to view their lyrics by wearing special glasses provided at a modest fee" When asked whether this protection would be enough the RIAA spokesman stated that "We will be lobbying congress to protect our encryption technology and hope to have the possession of coloured perspex or cellophane made illegal under the DMCA."
The press briefing was brought to a close by a fabricated statement that every copied CD causes a kitten to be tortured.

You can't even "reverse engineer" (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953233)

You'd think you could just report what you hear when you listen to a song or disc, but noooooooooooo!

Stupid (5, Funny)

Datoyminaytah (550912) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953237)

This is just stupid.

"Hey! Did you buy the new Eminem CD?"

"No! I went to and READ THE LYRICS for free!"

"Cool! Think I can read the new Britney Spears CD there?"

"Sure! Why not?"

"Great! Now we'll NEVER HAVE TO BUY CD's AGAIN!!!" :P

Good for them (4, Interesting)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953238)

This is great news. A few more crackdowns on these criminal sites (lyrics, guitar tablature, fan sites) and entire music catalogs will become illegal to listen to, even should you purchase the CD. At some point they may criminalize multiple listening sessions to a CD, instead requiring a license renewal for every session. Rewind and Play? Nah. Take out the credit, relicence, then play. Soon the companies will just legisltate themselves to death and we can get on enjoying music.

I'm definitely a lyrics person. I love clever lines even if the music verges on the pretentious ("sun so bright it leaves no shadows, only scars, carved into stone on fhe face of the earth", "like someone took a knife, edgy and dull, cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul") It's not Shakespeare but it's about the only thing interesting in many songs. Take away my ability to view lyrics and I won't buy the music.

And I know at some point they'll go after the tab sites that put their own versions of songs.

They infringed my copyright! (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953240)

"Just because there is no central licensing body it doesn't make it right to take lyrics and publish them without permission."

Of course not. And on that note, I'll be keeping a very close eye on the MPAA and RIAA if they use anything I say, write or otherwise express without written authorisation (which will itself be copywritten).

On that note, I'm off to index my lyrics into a byteorder string which would suggest that anyone unshuffling them without my express permission would be infringing the DMCA.

FFS, how did it get to the point where you allow an airhead groupie in a suit to dictate law?

Still Oddly, Still Drac

Signatures (2, Interesting)

DeBeuk (239106) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953244)

I'm a regular visitor of slashdot and I've noticed that a lot of people use sigs that are quotes of lyrics. We'd better watch our backs or else we're going to be in a lot of trouble!

I wonder when... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5953251)

...if I'll get a letter from the MPA for farting Smoke on the Water as my party piece.

This isn't new (2, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953258)

This isn't a new trend. Remember what was the ultimate lyrics site, - no adverts, no fancy web pages, just fast access to music lyrics. And what happened?

Here's some links,1284,17499,00. html [] l [] 6 []

The music industry has been trying for years to stop os reading what their artists are singing.

I remember (1)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953274)

It was one of the most useful sites around. My friend kept sending out snippets of lyrics to a group of friends, challenging us to name that tune.

I would always return the title, artist, and album within seconds of receiving his email.

He tried to stump me with a Christian rock band and I still won. I never told him how I did it. :-)

Boycott (4, Insightful)

bobbozzo (622815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953262)

I have been against boycotting the recording industry as it will just give them more fuel to say how "piracy" is hurting them, BUT this is getting INSANE.

We need to slap some sense into the industry.

I'm starting to think an ORGANIZED boycott may be the only way to do it.

Damn MPA/RIAA... (2, Insightful)

1eyedhive (664431) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953264)

they take away everything (i remember when you could find lyrics on the CD sleeves of some artists, those whose music you canactualy understand... i'm not paing $20 for 12 songs and getting no more than those songs, add the frelling lyrics to the sleeves and make money off the lyrics of those who buy em, it's expensive enough as is. it's difficult to find lyrics to a lot of songs, and frankly this thing has me even more annoyed, it's hard enough nw, let alone than they late it down.

Must protect song titles too (1)

ConfusedVorlon (657247) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953290)

A key part of the song is the title. A memorable title is a work of art and clearly deserves copyright protection. Sites that list the titles of songs on albums without paying royalties (amazon?) should also be shut down. After all, they are aiding and abetting P2P users as well as infringing on the writers' rights.

AARRGGHH!!!! (0)

Cackmobile (182667) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953292)

I can't believe this. Has the whole world gone mad. How petty have we become. Does the MPA think we are going to pay to read lyrics. Besides when we pay for music doesn't that give us the right to read the lyrics. I mean we can here them. It makes me so angry.

Rationale (1)

tunah (530328) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953298)

People won't buy CDs unless there's something that you don't get with a copy, or they think copying is wrong. CDs have liner notes with lyrics etc. If you get rid of the lyric sites, then this could be something you can't have with a copy. Plus, lyric sites are easy to google :)

I think i know why they're trying to do this (2, Funny)

tankdilla (652987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5953299)

They're just thinking about the future of pirating. See, first is starts with publishing lyrics. That's the easy part. Next people will start publishing melodies translated into text. Such as

"dun dun duh-dun dun dun-duh-dun/ping/bip-bip-bip bup-bup-bup bop-bop-bop-bing"

With the lyrics and the melody, a person can imagine what the song sounds like without ever hearing it. Oh the piracy that will ensue and lost revenue from songs imagined.

C'mon people use your imaginations!

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