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Song Sites Face Legal Crackdown 537

CaptainPotato writes "According to the BBC, the Music Publishers' Association is stepping up to launch the next phase in the music industry's battle against online music. The MPA is demanding jail time for the maintainers of websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics. The MPA President has stated that closing websites and imposing fines is not enough, stating that by 'throw [ing]in some jail time I think we'll be a little more effective' in its crusade." We just recently reported on the pearLyrics cease-and-desist order as well.
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Song Sites Face Legal Crackdown

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  • That makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SilverspurG ( 844751 ) * on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:07AM (#14218838) Homepage Journal
    "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."
    Because refusing to negotiate politely with a force which has demonstrated itself as larger is always seen as proactive.
    • by kandresen ( 712861 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @11:01AM (#14220040)
      There is supposed to be a good reason for putting people in jail, and this is not one of them.

      Ask yourself:

      1) are these people a risk for the society at large?
      2) what are we supposed to accomplish by putting them in jail?

      As to number one, the problem is more an etical issue - nobody dies, nobody get anything but possibly lower sales.

      As to number two, US is already country with highest % og people in jail, yet in no other industrialized country are there as many people shooting each other with gun - if jailtime worked, why are these number not going down? It is like, send these harmless schoolboy to learn how to become hardcore criminals in jail.

      Why not instead focus on rehabilitation? Set up a schedule where those caught are constraint in the area of the crime? What is worse, one year in prisson or one year without rights for using Internet? ;)

      Please stop sending people to hard core crime schools when not a danger to the society at large.
  • Man..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomHandy ( 578620 ) <> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:09AM (#14218860)
    Now this just seems silly. Personally at least, I can tell you that I use lyrics sites for ONE primary purpose; to be able to find a song that I heard somewhere based on its lyrics, so I can then buy it. Seriously; that's all they are really useful to me for (of course, they can also be useful just to know the words of a song, but that's something else). What POSSIBLE benefit can they see in shutting something down that has a primary use of helping people to identify and purchase their product? Really, it just seems like madness.
    • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kythe ( 4779 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:13AM (#14218902)
      Really great plan. Take out sites that are probably used by many people (I am also one) to track down songs to buy.

      These guys never met a good business plan or marketing scheme they didn't want to sue out of existence. The only reason they've survived this long is that they've been the only game in town.

      Artists are already discovering that they can afford home studios and to self-publish their songs online, which (as recent studies indicate) helps market the small-time bands. I'm thinking that within 10-20 years, the RIAA companies will either be defunct or will have gotten out of the business.
      • Indeed! (Score:5, Informative)

        by th3space ( 531154 ) <brad.bradfucious@com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:30AM (#14219085) Homepage
        A perfect example of pure self-production/self-release is the band (and arguably the 2005 Indie Darling Band of the Year*) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! They produced/printed their own music (released by Clap Your Hands Records), sold it exclusively at shows and through their website (at a profit of 4-5 USD per disc, a figure that is considerably higher than that of what bands on majors and indies make per disc moved), got a mention in Pitchfork back in June of this year and have since exploded. Whether or not the band continues on the road of DIY/RYO remains to be seen (the only argument for joining a label in this bands case would be tour support, although that opens up a whole host of other problems/financial woes), but at least a band of merit/worth/talent has proven that you can make a splash without big money and record executives getting in the way of the artistry.

        *not an actual award, but the buzz on them has been pretty stout
        • Re:Indeed! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jocknerd ( 29758 )
          Going the DIY route, bands may actually create a new industry. The will need touring promoters and facilitators. I smell an opportunity.
    • Re:Man..... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Iriel ( 810009 )
      (Warning: What you are about to read is purely sarcastic...except for where it isn't)

      Actually, the Recording Industry A**holes of America have struck gold this time! Do you have any idea how many times I have grown to hate a perfectly good song because some tone deaf moron could just look up the lyrics and try to imitate Brittney Spears? I can't tell you how much it grates my nerves to hear the greatest songs of our generation being brutalized by people just because they know the words!

      Now, the RIAA can kee
    • Re:Man..... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by duffbeer703 ( 177751 )
      That's just the problem -- the CD isn't their product and the MPA doesn't get a dime!

      The sheet music association is even more obsolete than RIAA -- they are a legacy of the era when entertainment consisted of a piano or guitar in the living room.

      What they are probably hoping for is to make a deal with iTunes where they get $0.005 cent for each song for bundling the lyrics.
    • BREAKING NEWS: Sony unveils perfect DRM

      All new releases are simply "BEEEEEP" for 74 minutes, censoring the lyrics and music so nobody can copy the artist's, er, record company's intellectual property in any way, shape or form.
  • As a musician... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:10AM (#14218866)
    As a musician i have only one thing to say:
    Fuck you, music industry.
    • I concur, and I'll bet that most of the young bands around today learned to play guitar the same way I did: by downloading tab from the internet.
    • by pilgrim23 ( 716938 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @10:32AM (#14219751)
      I also am a musician, published even, and I TOTALLY AGREE. I own one song of mine from 20 plus years back which I posted on the wem for download FREE so the Music Industry can go play squat tag on the nearest broken promise.

      In the Middle Ages the Church controlled all writing. Easy to do, they had all the scribes. Thne the printing press changed the world. In reponse, the Church threatened to excommunicate anyone in pocession of an unauthorized press. The more things change, the more they don't..
  • by Vengeance ( 46019 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:11AM (#14218879)
    Who in the HELL ever buys sheet music for lyrics?



    Didn't think so.
    • I'm not a native English speaker, so sometimes I need to read lyrics just to understand a song.

      Having said that, I don't think lyrics are usefull WITHOUT the song itself. So if I download lyrics it means I've already bought this song. And there is no way I'm going to buy lyrics separately.
    • Music classes and choirs. My high school choir did a great rendition of "Fuck the Police." There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
      • Are they not buying it for the musical staves as well?

        I'm talking about laying out four or five bucks (or whatever sheet music costs these days) solely in order to obtain the lyrics for a song.

        While I've certainly enjoyed getting lyrics I didn't know as serendipitous acquisitions after obtaining songbooks and such, I'd certainly never bother buying sheet music for the sole purpose of getting the words.
    • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:43AM (#14219237) Homepage Journal
      Just keep in mind that EVERY TIME someone goes to a place like Lyrics World to find the words to a song, that's revenue deprived of some poor, starving songwriter. That's because EVERY TIME someone wanted those words to a song, if places like Lyrics World hadn't existed, they would have hopped right into the car and driven to their local music (not Record/Tape/CD) store to buy a copy of the sheet music. There's NO SUCH THING as casually wondering what the words to a song are - there's only thieving and conniving to deprive starving songwriters of the ability to feed their poor children.

      Clearly this move is going to enhance my enjoyment of music, and make me want to buy more.
      • I agree. Every time I have looked up lyrics (maybe seven or eight so far) I would have gladly paid 3 million dollars for them. So my acts have already cost them 21 to 24 million dollars.

        The level of remorse I am feeling cannot be described with words. Jail time isn't what I deserve, I should probably just be shot or forced into indentured servitude or slavery. That would put a stop to my larcenous behavior.
  • by Afecks ( 899057 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:12AM (#14218883)
    I fail to see how protecting lyrics is a big deal when most songs consist of "oooh", "uhh" and "yeah". Can you really copyright grunts?
  • by SisyphusShrugged ( 728028 ) <me AT igerard DOT com> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:12AM (#14218890) Homepage
    Talk about lawsuit happy...can there really be that much money in song lyrics and sheet music?!?

    Reminds me of that South Park episode, "Now Britney wont be able to buy her third caribbean island, all because of you evil children and your selfish downloading of music!"

    I am absolutely certain there is a special ring of hell reserved for these RIAA goons and their SCO-like tactics.
  • by MarcoPon ( 689115 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:12AM (#14218897) Homepage
    It seems that they are in a quest to prove everyday to the world that they are even more stupid than previously supposed to be.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So a site that has a guitar tab to a song with the lyrics on that unauthorized/unlicensed material that will now become "illegal"? That's just horrible if it's true. How much longer can these crazy corporations before they finally shoot themselves in both feet and fall down?
    • by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:25AM (#14219029) Homepage Journal
      Those of us who are ancient will remember that that's happened before. In the mid-1990s, the Harry Fox Agency (IIRC) threatened to sue the OnLine Guitar Archive (OLGA) for illegally reproducing lyrics without permission. Many lyrics were partially excised as a result, but the threatened death of online guitar resources failed to happen...

      So if you ever get a tab sheet were you get the first word of a line and a sequence of dots instead of the lyrics, now you know why.
      • Ah, yes. I actually still have the t-shirt I bought to support OLGA's [] legal defense in the Harry Fox matter. As long as the lyrics weren't with the tabs, they were OK with it, correct?
      • There was another case, too.

        There used to be a fantastic web site about the Bonzo Dog Band. It had an annotated copy of the lyrics, explaining all the 60s pop culture references and in-jokes.

        Some wankers from EMI threatened copyright litigation, and the entire thing was yanked. Even though the information was not available from EMI.
  • Call Oberlin! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Puhase ( 911920 )
    All music conservatories must now be shut down as they are producing students capable of transposing music from just listening to it and therefore becoming music pirates. I wonder if the people who own the sounds studios have the copyright for things like the sound a river makes. If so, our national parks are in danger of a lawsuit!
  • hmm.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by somersault ( 912633 )
    I wonder why suicide is on the rise.. surely the world is always becoming a better place?
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:14AM (#14218914)
    Great, now people will be writing about Jimi Hendrix singing "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" in Purple Haze and Creedence Clearwater Revival singing "There's a bathroom on the right" in 'Bad Moon Rising'
  • There wouldn't e a problem if the stuff was resonably priced. I would rather have it on cd (higer quality). But, it costs so much. When you look at profits there is a lot of wiggle room. A bunch of flippin rich babies and their cartel.
  • by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:17AM (#14218948)

    Why didn't he just come out and say what he really wanted to say:

    "Just prison time! That's not enough! These low life scum deserve nothing more than to be stoned to death (women aren't allowed to partake in the stoning, of course). They have stolen food from the mouths of hungry little children and strangled kittens. Well they would strangle kittens if they could. There probably terrorists as well you know!"

    Will common sense ever return to the world? I think not with people like this running things.

    • Your first mistake is in assuming that common sense was *ever* a part of this world.
  • $0.02 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fwice ( 841569 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:19AM (#14218967)
    Just my personal experience --

    but I've bought a ton of cd's by listening to a song on the radio, writing down a random verse, and later googling that phrase to get to one of those cheesy lyric pages. I then can see what the song is, and what artist is making it.

    Shut that down and you're gonna lose my sales.
  • jail time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geoffrobinson ( 109879 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:20AM (#14218975) Homepage
    I am not for illegal music downloading or for violating copyrights, etc.

    However, jail time? That, to me at least, implies that society has been harmed in some measurable and somewhat significant way. Music lyrics? Is this after multiple warning to cease and desist?

    Are they profiting off of this?

    Obviously, I'm thinking outload here. But the main point is that jailing people is not something we should be deciding willy-nilly based on people from an industry that feels threatened.

    It's one thing for them to want the state to help them in regards to illegal activity that affects their business. This is quite another.
  • by Vokkyt ( 739289 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:20AM (#14218978)
    cause it will have lyrics from Bohemian Rhapsody in it...which is seemingly appropriate in my mind.

    Is this the real life- Is this just fantasy-
    Caught in a landslide-
    No escape from reality-
    Open your eyes
    Look up to the skies and see-
    I'm just a poor boy,i need no sympathy-
    Because I'm easy come,easy go,
    A little high,little low,
    Anyway the wind blows,doesn't really matter to me,
    To me

    Mama,just killed a man,
    Put a gun against his head,
    Pulled my trigger,now he's dead,
    Mama,life had just begun,
    But now I've gone and thrown it all away-
    Mama ooo,
    Didn't mean to make you cry-
    If I'm not back again this time tomorrow-
    Carry on,carry on,as if nothing really matters-

    Too late,my time has come,
    Sends shivers down my spine-
    Body's aching all the time,
    Goodbye everybody-I've got to go-
    Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth-
    Mama ooo- (any way the wind blows)
    I don't want to die,
    I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all-

    I see a little silhouetto of a man,
    Scaramouche,scaramouche will you do the fandango-
    Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me-
    Galileo galileo
    Galileo figaro-magnifico-
    But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me-
    He's just a poor boy from a poor family-
    Spare him his life from this monstrosity-
    Easy come easy go-,will you let me go-
    Bismillah! no-,we will not let you go-let him go-
    Bismillah! we will not let you go-let him go
    Bismillah! we will not let you go-let me go
    Will not let you go-let me go
    Will not let you go let me go
    Mama mia,mama mia,mama mia let me go-
    Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me,for me,for me-

    So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye-
    So you think you can love me and leave me to die-
    Oh baby-can't do this to me baby-
    Just gotta get out-just gotta get right outta here-

    Nothing really matters,
    Anyone can see,
    Nothing really matters-,nothing really matters to me,

    Any way the wind blows....

  • Just imagine how much more effective of a deterrent it would be if we simply guillotine those music fans who dare post song lyrics on the Internet! Off with their heads, I say!
  • Make Room (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dareth ( 47614 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:24AM (#14219017)
    I guess we need to make room in the jails.

    The MPA is demanding jail time for the maintainers of websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics.

    Time to let all the copyright honoring murderers out of jail to make room. After all, the people they killed probably illegally downloaded music!

    Society knows who the "real criminals" are.
  • There is a real but small market for printed lyrics & score/tabs in nice books, sure.
    But seriously, would you spend hours to find/print the one from the web, or buy a nice book withotu any mistake, and a nice layout?

    I don't remeber having heard anyone publish a study about declining publish lyrics sales...

    They're just over greedy. As somebody else said, most people who look up lyrics online end up BUYING the damned record.

    And is there ANY legal site where you could purchase and downlaod lyrics and tabs
  • by beaversoc ( 835028 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:24AM (#14219025)
    Shit I just thought a set of Lyrics, Dammit agian. Off to get a alumnium foil Hat and hide
  • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:25AM (#14219033)
    This reminds me of something a virtual radio commentator that you hear when playing a recent game says:

    "Remember, you shouldn't wistle the tunes you hear on the radio because it breaks the author's copyright. Wistling is killing the music industry!"
  • by miracle69 ( 34841 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:26AM (#14219036)
    If you are reconstructing lyrics from listening to a song that they broadcast over public airwaves, what is illegal about me documenting what I heard?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If you are reconstructing lyrics from listening to a song that they broadcast over public airwaves, what is illegal about me documenting what I heard?

      Exactly.. It's not illegal, or should not be. Copying something verbatim from sheet music may be illegal, but writing your own interpretation of the music for a song should not be.
  • more betrayal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yagu ( 721525 ) * <> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:27AM (#14219051) Journal

    Jail time for unlicensed publishing of lyrics? I don't know how many times I've gone looking for lyrics to songs and the only place I can find anything is some web site where a fan has taken the time to put lyrics together. Maybe that's changed some and now that the music industry see dollar signs you really can go "buy" this stuff -- is it my responsibility to monitor and find this stuff (which, btw should have been available a long time ago)?

    The music industry has betrayed the consumers since forever. Are they going to go after the publicly available and free CDDB? Probably. But even that didn't exist until the consuming public put together the first application to make this available on-line. And guess who provided the data? The friggin' public, again. And, now that the industry sees dollar signs, they want to claim ownership.

  • Scores? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Libor Vanek ( 248963 )
    OK, I understand the "lyrics part" - it's "intelectual property" same as poems, books etc.

    But WTF about "unlicensed song scores"? Does that mean that I can't publish on my blog what songs I like and hate?
    • Re:Scores? (Score:2, Informative)

      lets put this in programming terms:
          Musical score != Rating.
          Musical score == the actual music source code.

    • Is this a joke?

      If not, here's the relevant OED entry:

      6. Mus. A written or printed piece of concerted music, in which all the vocal and instrumental parts are noted on a series of staves one under the other.
      Commonly stated to be so called from the practice (not now always followed) of connecting the related staves by 'scores' or lines continuing the bars.

      b. A musical composition with its distribution of parts.
  • When I was younger, I got my hand on "Pinball Wizard" in guitar tablature. The very next thing I did was get a recording of "Pinball Wizard" to help me learn it.

    Point is, all those your guitar wannabees out there who are given access to the sheet music will want to purchase the associated CD's to help them learn to play it. THE SHEET MUSIC SELLS THE CD!!

    Even today, I'm trying to learn a celtic folk piece called "The Wind the Shakes the Barley". I need to hear several examples of how that is played to get
  • by 93,000 ( 150453 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:29AM (#14219071)
    DUDE: "Hey man, I just figured out the solo for [insert song here]. It's so cool to play."

    OTHER DUDE: "Sweet, show me how it goes."

    DUDE: "Um, I can't -- it's illegal. And don't tell anyone I figured it out myself. If anybody asks I bought the music."

    In similar news, concertgoers will now be forbidden from watching the hands of musicians during the performance, lest they learn something about how a song is played without paying the proper royalties.
  • by jolyonr ( 560227 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:31AM (#14219108) Homepage
    So here, for your illegal enjoyment, are the lyrics for Daft Punk's track 'Around the World', encoded in a C style language for your benefit.

    printf("Around the World\r\n");


    Am I an illegal now?
  • I know I learned initally to play the guitar by ear, and have since been playing songs just by listening them long enough (although lessons did help a lot also). While I never had the need to write the notes down, I know there are many tabs out there that are not copied, but are written by people that have just listened to the song. Isn't that quite akin to reverse-engineering? So will they be sued also?
  • What's the purpose of shutting down lyrics sites? It makes no sense whatsoever to me. Do the record industries plan on making more money if no one can read the lyrics of their songs?

    Perhaps they're jealous of all the annoying pop-up (redundant, I know...) ads that places like AZlyrics can have. Honestly, I'm LESS likely to buy a song that I can't find the lyrics to (assuming that I heard the song on the radio and didn't catch all the lyrics).

  • Thiefing Bastards! ...I'm talking about the music industry. They won't stop till they've got every last cent.

    Deprieving artists of a living my arse. I'd like to see them try find an artist who makes a living from selling lyrics!

    Surely any real "artist" would prefer people actually understood the lyrics they were singing rather than deprive all their fans for that one in a million customer who is crazy enough to actually buy a songbook purely for the lyrics.

    I'm simply disgusted at the pure greed of music pub
  • It takes me maybe two to eight hours to listen and write the sheet music for a song using Lilypond for other band members to use. No, it isn't my original song, I'm just writing down notes on how to play it. Now someone is telling me its illegal to do this. How long before they arrest us for playing the songs in our garage? What is the end goal? To destroy our interest in music altogether?
  • The only times... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainPotato ( 191411 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:35AM (#14219147) Homepage
    ...that I use online lyric sites are for when I want the words for music that I have purchased, but the publisher saw fit not to include the lyrics in the packaging, or for looking up the name of a song that I have heard and want to know what it is.

    In the first instance, there's no more money to be made from me as I have already spent money - and I would refuse to pay to use a site that provides lyrics. Indeed, it would also discourage me from buying more music in the future from companies that endorse this approach.

    In the second instance, there's also no money to be made from me as I won't be able to find the song by using its lyrics. Lose-lose for the music industry, it seems. To top it off, with this type of attitude, I'm also far less likely to purchase anything from companies pursuing this type of strategy.

    That's why I stick with Internet radio and music from individuals, groups and companies that respect their fans, rather than trying to milk them for all that they are worth.

    I'm not a musician, so I don't download tabs. Shutting down tab sites also seems pointless as any half-decent musician can pick up a song by listening to it. Every musician I know does it this way. Does this mean that the music industry wants to also jail musicians who learn by listening, rather than by buying officially sanctioned tabs and scores?

    Silly me, I forget that all the great musicians learnt from the officially sanctioned sources, rather than listening and imitating their heroes... and that anybody who disagrees with what the music industry wants must be a pirate and thief.

  • by MrBandersnatch ( 544818 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:37AM (#14219166)
    Consider these 2 scenarios :-

    1) Someone takes the lyrics/score as written in a book/CD case, copies it and publishes it on a web page.
    2) Someone listens to a song several times, transposes the lyrics/score as they hear it and transposes it on a web page.

    Now 1) is a clear breach of copyright (and should be settled in a civil court as such) but 2)...I cant help but think of that as a derivitive work and as such NOT in breach of copyright.

    I dont know though - could someone enlighten me please?
    • Now 1) is a clear breach of copyright (and should be settled in a civil court as such) but 2)...I cant help but think of that as a derivitive work and as such NOT in breach of copyright. I dont know though - could someone enlighten me please?

      Nope! That's a common misunderstanding, but actually derivitive works are still copyright of the original copyright holder; there's not really a difference between your two examples, for this purpose.

      Derivitives do add one complication, which is that the changes

  • I mean come on.... Ban all sites with music lyrics?!?!? What kindof discussion leads to this?

    Did you know they have internet sites with lyrics to songs that we own that they can download for free?

    Oh no, now John Doe can download it and sing it without having to buy the song!!!! It's like stealing, we should sue them!!!

    No, I've got a better idea, let's throw them in jail!

    I mean seriously, I can see their argument that downloading an exact copy of a song can hurt their sales (though I think sueing grannies, c
  • by junster2 ( 573899 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:37AM (#14219180) Homepage Journal
    This is not a crimal statute, it is a civil statute that is being broken, so how do you end up in jail exactly? Oh, thats right buy your very own Senator or Congress person and you are half way there.
  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:37AM (#14219181) Homepage

    Please tell me what the fuck is wrong with having the lyrics posted so that people can find the words when they try to quote them...oh dear. It's not like people are using the lyrics to perform the song, and if so, then they'd get nail by the performance rights collectors.

    All we want is to be able to find the lyrics essentially to educate us, and that should be in fair use. And were the MPA to provide such themselves that'd be cool.

    But !@#$% them...I am so sick of this crap. It's gone way beyond sanity.
  • Why the outrage? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kunta Kinte ( 323399 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:44AM (#14219244) Journal
    Like others have been saying, I use music sites to find more about a song I might have heard for the first time. Or some songs have lovely lyrics, and you just want to figure out what the entire piece is about.


    Music lyrics are copyrighted material...

    And the agents of the MPA are presumabley, agents of the songwriters. And they are requesting that their works be taken down.

    So why the outrage? Are you suggesting that you have some right to the songwriter's works against their wishes?

    My solution to this issue is to let the MPA get what they want. Hopefully smarter artists will, in the future, fill the void this creates.

  • Fair Use anyone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stinerman ( 812158 ) <> on Friday December 09, 2005 @09:58AM (#14219406) Homepage
    I've been learning how to play bass guitar for the past two years, mostly by downloading tablature and playing along with various songs. This certainly falls under fair use, specifically teaching and scholarship. I can play a few dozen songs by memory, none of which have been performed publicly (in fact, I've never done a public performance of any song). Please tell me how I am a threat to the artists or even the copyright holders of these songs. I can't wait to see the statistics on how much they're losing in sheet music sales to piracy ... likely somewhere in the billions of dollars.

    Don't they know that many of their artists learned how to play music in much the same way, by hearing a song and effectively reverse engineering it? Elvis Costello didn't learn to read and write music until the mid 90s, nearly 20 years after his first album was released.Let them waste their money on lawyers "protecting" their "IP". It's just so amazing that these people are so devoted to making sure their copyrights are never infringed that they're going to dig themselves a grave. I, for one, can't wait.
  • Copyright reform (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Weezul ( 52464 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @10:21AM (#14219616)
    We seriously needc coyright reform: limit to 7 years & invalidate without publishing "all source materials used in creation". So software would never receive a copyright unless it was open source software, and music would never receive a copyright unless lyrics & tabs were published. Of course, they don't need to promote the source, but it needs to be available online from their site, and at the library of congress.
  • Dumb and Dumber (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @10:42AM (#14219866)
    I use lyric web-sites to identify songs I hear and want to locate. With a few words one can Google: "a few words" +lyrics and quickly find the title and artist(s) of a song that has caught my fancy. I'm certainly never going to buy any song I can't identify.

    Now the stupid RIAA wants to end this. How this is going to help them is beyond me. Do they really think (as they apparently think regarding iPod hardware) that there's money to be extracted from these web-sites? Most seem to be a labor of love with likely little extra money to give to the greedy bastards. And I doubt that if you license the lyrics, that they will give them too you in machine-readable form. How many of these are captured and typed in by contributiors? Dumb all around.

    Coming soon, how long before huming a song in public gets you jail time?

    And is the MPAA suing the IMDB yet for giving movie plot summaries?

  • I dont get it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @11:10AM (#14220114) Homepage
    with a DJ not (usually) announcing who a song is by, how am I supposed to find out what the name of the song is? as it stands now, if I remember a bit of the lyrics I can punch them into google and usually find the song... on a lyrics site... so no lyric sites, no finding out what the name of the song was, no sale... duh!
  • by Millard Fillmore ( 197731 ) on Friday December 09, 2005 @11:21AM (#14220256) Homepage Journal
    My guess is that the MPA, or individual members thereof, are planning to launch their own for-profit, possibly subscription based, lyrics website.

    That's the only explanation I can think of. The RIAA wants to eliminate free/pirated downloads becuase it cuts into their album sales, or their pay-download site profits. The MPA wants to eliminate free guitar tabs so they can charge instrumentalists for sheet music. IN both cases, there is a for-profit, legal market for those goods. MPA members cannot currently profit in any way from the desire of music fans to know or look up lyrics. So why shut down lyrics sites unless they're planning to find a way to make it profitable for them...

The IBM purchase of ROLM gives new meaning to the term "twisted pair". -- Howard Anderson, "Yankee Group"