Next they’ll want to jail kids for humming songs without permission

Music publishers intend to settle the score – Technology – smh.com.au — Apparently these guys are seeing this as a new profit center. As for jail sentences, why don’t they ask for the death penalty while they are at it.

… a series of recent developments demonstrate the companies are preparing to substantially widen their campaign.

The US Music Publishers’ Association (MPA) said late last week it was planning to take strong action against offenders involved in the publication of copyright lyrics, scores or guitar tabs, according to a BBC report.

The association represents US sheet music companies and its president, Lauren Keiser said he didn’t just want to close sites, but would push for jail terms for offenders.

found by Nate Saathoff



  1. RTaylor says:

    Aux armes citoyens
    Formez vos bataillons
    Marchons, marchons
    Qu’un sang impur
    Abreuve nos sillons

  2. Ima Fish says:

    I feel sorry for those people who own copyrights on lyrics. In one way their copyrights are valuable in the sense that most songs would not sell without lyrics. However, separately, or without the music, there appears to be absolutely NO market for lyrics in and of themselves.

    So on one hand, the lyric copyright holders don’t want others making money from their copyrights. But on the other, they can’t really make any additional money themselves.

    What these lyric copyright holders have to do is first recognize that their copyrights are essentially valueless without the included music. No one is going to pay to read lyrics. With that in mind they should create a licensing scheme to allow lyric sites to pay small fees to offer lyrics to the public.

    Maybe an even better idea would be for iTunes to give out the lyrics to every song you buy. Thus, if you’re dying to know the lyrics to a particular tune, you could always buy it from iTunes to get it. At least that way you get the song too.

    But I think the best way would be for the bands to publish their lyrics on their websites so their fans can read them.

  3. Jon says:

    Some of the CDs don’t even include the lyrics these days…

  4. Babaganoosh says:

    What about people who have a good ear and are able to figure out (for example) the guitar tabs to a song just by listening and experimenting? Surely that can’t be labeled as infringement.

  5. Prepare for a huge decline in sales. I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me that Googling for lyrics is a common way to find the title of that nice song you heard somewhere.

  6. Janey James says:

    Maybe they could send the proceeds to all of the artists they’ve cheated in the past.

  7. Angel H. Wong says:

    Does this means that you won’t be able to sing the happy birthday sone without having to pay to warner brothers some fees?

  8. Ima Fish says:

    Babaganoosh, if you figure the song out in your head, it’s not an infringement. But once you start playing it or writing it down, it’s an infringement. Any copy or performance not covered by fair use is an infringement. Not that I expect that RIAA police to be knocking down your door anytime soon.

  9. dave says:

    Just invest in satellite radio. There is a channel for your musical tastes, and you will never have to buy from these legal terrorists again.

  10. Ed Ram says:

    I agree with a couple of the comments posted before me… let me list them:
    1) googling for lyrics
    2) finding that special “one” song you only remember the tune and a couple words from the sung part.
    Aside from that, where in the world has the freedom of information gone???? I don’t believe musicians (except millivanilli followers) go on singing someone else’s song and get very very very wealthy from that. Isn’t making a tribute to a song writer/singer a well known musical gender called “covers”, which is curiously a way for new bands and solo artists to start them fumble path in their way to success????
    Is RIAA gonna go arresting all high school bands who sing a song or two of Blink 181 or Greenday????
    Is serenating also gonna be prohibited???? Bohemian fireside “kumbalas” also a crime????
    And by the way, some may have noticed that version 2 of mp3 tags has a “lyrics” tab where, well, you can add the lyrics to the songs you own. Also, check out EvilLyrics, this appy hunts down from the net the lyrics to song your PC mp3 player is currently playing… Sorry, but this really makes me mad, hope you all have a good time singing to the songs you really trully deeply love… and teach your kids the lyrics, the tabs and everything you can come up with!!!! The magic and trascendence of a musician comes with time and popular recognition not with public sales.
    ERR

  11. Teyecoon says:

    Unbelievable! These people are wanting to punish the very fans of the music that are willing to pay for it. I think they’re trying to say that if you like the music too much, you have to pay for the extra enthusiasm that you obtain from it. It sounds now as if “fair use” is an all but ignored theory. Next, they’ll charge for any “special” dance moves that might originate from “their” songs and sue every wedding reception for playing cover songs and for doing dances like the stupid macarena.

    How happy everyone is to think that our Democracy is so strong that it could survive the “cold war” only for it to be destroyed internally by the cancer of corrupt and extremist capitalism. These narcissistic gluttonous fools won’t see another dime from me. They’re gestapo policies are only going to cause them to lose a foot to save a toenail.

  12. Smith says:

    Not being a lawyer, I’m struggling with the whole idea of being jailed for a civil violation. When did copyright infringement become a criminal act that is punishable by imprisonment?

  13. Chris says:

    So when I hear a bit of a song and try to search for it based on a single line, find it at a lyrics site, then go to Amazon (or my local CD Ripoff World or Sam Greedy) and plunk down my money on it, that HURTS the record companies?!?! OK, that’s what I used to do…I only buy used CD’s these days (I think I would do physical damage to myself if I caught myself giving money to this industry). Anyway, if I can’t find the songs via the lyrics (which I bet a lot of people do), I can’t very well buy the music, now can I?

    The sad thing is that it’s all so simple to fix…all it would take would be two weeks of not buying music: everyone does not buy music for a week and explains why they aren’t, thus interrupting the record industry’s cash flow…they still wouldn’t ‘get it’, so we’d have to do it for another week, with the same stated reason. Think about it, if NOBODY bought music for just that short period of time, it would have a HUGE impact on that greedy industry (and I bet the artists, well, the honest ones, would support us).
    In the meantime, buy used CD’s..or, better yet, buy direct from the artists’ websites, if possible.


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