Saturday, December 10, 2005

NEXT, THEY COME FOR THE LYRICS...

Suppose you find yourself thinking "what was that song with the line about swearing an oath that I'd pay someone to kill you both?" - chances are, right now, you'd stick the words into Google and come up with the song from one of the lyrics sites on the web. Then, you might go a step further and buy the song on download, or on CD. Not for much longer, though, if Lauren Keiser and the Music Publisher's Association gets it way.

Believing that lyrics and guitar tab sites are costing sheet music sales (because, of course, if you didn't have Google and you found yourself wanting to know what the inaudible line in Brass In Pocket is, you'd go out and buy sheet music, wouldn't you?) he's set to oversee legal action against lyrics sites. And he's not just interested in getting money, either:

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".


Yes, that's right - a supposedly sane man from an organisation which is meant to do little more than act as a clearing house for a declining industry is calling on people to be thrown into prison because they've put up a website with the full songwords to every song Cher has ever made.

Think about that. We presume Keiser is educated to at least some sort of workable standard, and his solution for a problem that he fails to demostrate is hurting his business is to throw people in jail - pour encourager l'autres. We really hope nothing actually bad ever happens to Keiser, as a man whose lust for vengenance is so far out of proportion would probably have to build a death star if someone, say, insulted his hairstyle.

[Thanks to Mike G for the link]


4 comments:

karl said...

Presumably they'll make an exception for "It's The End Of The World As We Know It", which apparently even Michael Stipe had to look up the lyrics for...

Species 8472 said...

I was wondering if they'd send us to prison for whistling a tune while walking down the street next.

Keith said...

I've been thinking and writing about this. Best I can tell, the music industry has halfheartedly been fighting lyrics/tab sites for the last 10 years. They haven't been trying hard because they know they don't have a good alternative. They make licensing lyrics a pain.

I'm curious what their plan is once they bullied all the lyrics sites off the net. People have gotten used to the ease of finding lyrics, so there better be something legit that takes its place and is still free to the end user.

Ramil said...

Lol, I haven't finished yet my PHP Lyrics script and fortunately I read this blog.

Lyrics sites put this lines: "All lyrics are copyright of their respective owners ........."? How can it be illegal?

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