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View Full Version : iTunes lyrics fight ends in apology


MacBytes
Dec 17, 2005, 01:20 AM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: iTunes lyrics fight ends in apology (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051217022009)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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mkrishnan
Dec 17, 2005, 01:32 AM
Sounds like, perhaps, a growth opportunity for the web? And perhaps a sensible executive who caught some corporate monster that resulted from policies about protecting IP that don't make sense in the real world.... Nice. :)

Although we have to see what comes next.

iMeowbot
Dec 17, 2005, 01:55 AM
Although we have to see what comes next.

This is the key:
Our solution will adhere to our shared belief that songwriters must be fairly compensated for their work and that legitimate web sites with accurate lyrics must not be undermined by unlicensed web sites.
There really are Web sites that have taken the effort to play by the rules. It's about time for them to be identified to the general public and supported.

mkrishnan
Dec 17, 2005, 02:12 AM
Can I ask more about what *you* mean by that? Do you think people should have to pay for lyrics access when they own the CD or purchased iTunes song already? What do you have in mind in terms of legitimate sites? The ones operated by artists and labels, or something else?

I have always thought of the people who put together lyrics for songs when the lyrics are not officially provided, and make them available on the net, as providing a service. It would be nice if accurate lyrics and attributions were available. But if you hear a song on the radio and you transcribe and print the lyrics online, to aid other people in understanding the song, that seems to fall under the rubric of fair play to me. It's not like people are napstering all these lyrics in order to avoid buying the music, or using them to record their own knock-off version of the songs....

iMeowbot
Dec 17, 2005, 02:47 AM
Can I ask more about what *you* mean by that? Do you think people should have to pay for lyrics access when they own the CD or purchased iTunes song already? What do you have in mind in terms of legitimate sites? The ones operated by artists and labels, or something else?
There are private, free sites where the owners have asked for and received permission. Quite often all it "costs" is an assurance that the material is credited properly and accurate. Well run fan sites often fall into that class. Publishers haven't been very big on acknowledging who they are. It's about time for them to do so, if they want to start going after those who aren't doing it that way.
I have always thought of the people who put together lyrics for songs when the lyrics are not officially provided, and make them available on the net, as providing a service. It would be nice if accurate lyrics and attributions were available. But if you hear a song on the radio and you transcribe and print the lyrics online, to aid other people in understanding the song, that seems to fall under the rubric of fair play to me. It's not like people are napstering all these lyrics in order to avoid buying the music, or using them to record their own knock-off version of the songs....
It's not really all about the money, despite repeated bleatings on the Internet. As above, lyrics rights are often granted free of charge. In international copyright there is a concept called "moral rights" which is an entitlement to accurate reproduction and correct attribution. Tied into that is the "economic" right to decide where and when the material will be printed, if at all. That part about asking isn't trivial, though, it really needs to be done.

dops7107
Dec 17, 2005, 03:38 AM
This fiasco is the first I'd heard of PearLyrics. Does anyone have it so I could try it out, or would that be against MR rules now it's been pulled for legal reasons? ;)

iMeowbot
Dec 17, 2005, 03:48 AM
This fiasco is the first I'd heard of PearLyrics. Does anyone have it so I could try it out, or would that be against MR rules now it's been pulled for legal reasons? ;)
It might be better to try something like Google for a pearlyrics mirror, I'm sure that there will be plenty.

dops7107
Dec 17, 2005, 04:25 AM
It might be better to try something like Google for a pearlyrics mirror, I'm sure that there will be plenty.

Duh :o Thanks - I guess I can't see the wood for the trees sometimes! For anyone interested, plenty of mirrors are listed here (http://ibneko.livejournal.com/424164.html).

mainstreetmark
Dec 17, 2005, 10:28 AM
Me: "...and she's *something* a *something* to heaven..."
Them: Fill in the blanks for another couple of bucks! You only bought the CD, man, not the CD and the lyrics!

mkrishnan
Dec 17, 2005, 10:36 AM
There are private, free sites where the owners have asked for and received permission.

I'm sorry...I don't mean to be argumentative at all. This is just new to me. So these are sites that are free, but require membership? And they implement different safeguards to guarantee the moral rights of the author than most of the sites you get when you Google for lyrics? I understand the concept of moral rights, although their implementation in the US is very, very limited, from reading about European IP law.

Are the kinds of sites you're talking about secretive or something? I'm wondering why I've never come across or joined one. Can you link me to any?

Applespider
Dec 17, 2005, 10:45 AM
You probably have come across one.

There are sites out there who have the lyrics on them with the appropriate copyright acknowledged. They may pay a small fee to the publisher or, ask and ensure copyright is shown, which they claim back from advertising on the site and presumably referral links to iTunes/Amazon etc. Most are open to the web and don't require membership.

But there are a lot of sites out there (often the ones laden with malware) who show the lyrics without identifying who owns the rights to the song, who wrote the song etc and who make a reasonable amount of cash from the advertisers who go to the site.

The record companies are saying that they'd rather have more of the first than the second. iMeowbot is saying that those 'approved' sites should be better highlighted so you can see whether the one which you've gone to is legit or not (if the strange .exe downloading doesn't give it away!)

Seasought
Dec 17, 2005, 11:13 AM
It's refreshing to see something trying to be worked out for a change as opposed to someone immediately jumping to file a suit.

CanadaRAM
Dec 17, 2005, 11:48 AM
Can I ask more about what *you* mean by that? Do you think people should have to pay for lyrics access when they own the CD or purchased iTunes song already?
Of course! It's a different product, and if it had no value, then people wouldn't want it. Conversely, if it was valueless, there should be zero impact if it were taken away.

"I bought my Mac already, I shouldn't have to pay for Applecare. I bought my Education (CD only) version of Office for $75 through Uni. - I shouldn't have to pay for a printed manual, or version upgrades, right?"

The iTunes download, the CD, and the manuscript of lyric sheets are not the same, they are separate products.

What do you have in mind in terms of legitimate sites? The ones operated by artists and labels, or something else? ...providing a service
If the artist / songwriter decides to provide the lyrics, fine. It would be a good business move. But it's their decision, not Joe 'I've got Google Ads' Webmaster's.
And if an artist decides to publish free lyrics, it will be partially because they benefit from drawing people to their own website, exposing them to the advertisement of their newest CD, etc. Unauthorized lyric sites damage that value to the artist.

It's not like people are napstering all these lyrics in order to avoid buying the music, or using them to record their own knock-off version of the songs....
Actually, I think both of these are likely -- people who have P2P's the music and people who don't want to buy music books or do the work of learning by ear so they can play cover songs.

There is a legitimate revenue for the songwriter in selling song books, with and without musical notation or chords, and licensing lyrics for a variety of uses. Unauthorized lyric sites damage that income.

nagromme
Dec 17, 2005, 03:27 PM
If anyone wants to post a link to one of the GOOD free lyrics sites, I wouldn't complain :)

I usually just use Safari's Google bar. Type in the phrase, the title, or the artist (in quotes) plus the word "lyrics." Results are mixed, but usually answer my question.

CanadaRAM
Dec 17, 2005, 03:33 PM
If a lyric site does not have the name of the author and the publishing company and a (c) copyright date, then it is not legitimate.

Having the proper credits and copyright notice does not guarantee that the lyrics have been used by permission, but the absence of them is definitive.

Lacero
Dec 17, 2005, 03:41 PM
iTunes lyrics fight ends in apologyAt least they issued an apology and are on good terms now. This is great news for everyone involved!

The make-up sex must've been awesome!


Here's to the Crazy Ones http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=35452 (http://www.uriah.com/apple-qt/movies/think-different.mov)

mkaake
Dec 17, 2005, 05:46 PM
I'm pretty happy this all happened (sort of) because I had never heard of pearLyrics before, and now it's d/l'ing the lyrics to my entire collection of music (aside from the few songs which apparently were never known enough to have the lyrics posted)...

:D

can't help but think they had the opposite affect intended on this one...

mkrishnan
Dec 17, 2005, 05:54 PM
can't help but think they had the opposite affect intended on this one...

Or maybe, you're falling right into their trap. :D

iMeowbot
Dec 17, 2005, 06:26 PM
If anyone wants to post a link to one of the GOOD free lyrics sites, I wouldn't complain :)

Lyricfind (http://www.lyricfind.com/lyricsearch.php3) is one of the legal sites, but they decided to be broken right now because I dared to think of mentioning them! :p

Odd as it seems, Warner-Chappel, EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV and some of the other big publishers have online licensing databases with complete lyrics available for free public viewing. Many, many more are on official artist sites, yet more on fan sites with good artist relationships.

Where a good program or widget will come in is to aggregate all these into a single point. Right now the legal content is kind of scattered. That needs to be fixed big time.

steve_hill4
Dec 17, 2005, 07:19 PM
I also find http://www.lyricsfreak.com/ to have most of the lyrics I am after. Only 120,000 songs, but if I do a google search for a song title and end it in lyrics, it almost always comes up either top or in the top 10 pointing to lyrics freak.

Analog Kid
Dec 18, 2005, 12:08 AM
Lyricfind (http://www.lyricfind.com/lyricsearch.php3) is one of the legal sites, but they decided to be broken right now because I dared to think of mentioning them! :p

Odd as it seems, Warner-Chappel, EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV and some of the other big publishers have online licensing databases with complete lyrics available for free public viewing. Many, many more are on official artist sites, yet more on fan sites with good artist relationships.

Where a good program or widget will come in is to aggregate all these into a single point. Right now the legal content is kind of scattered. That needs to be fixed big time.
I haven't done any widget coding myself, but one of the limitations I've found is that widgets can't run multiple threads-- so they have to search sequentially which would take forever with distributed sources. The only way this would work is if someone put up an online database of links where the widget would first hit the database and then hit the site.

Problem is that there wouldn't be much revenue in providing the database. I suppose it could be updated periodically by the author and included in the widget bundle, but that's a lot of effort for a freeware widget.

Widgets are going to run into this kind of problem a lot. They're the equivalent of TiVo for the web-- you can get the content and avoid the ads.

I've got mixed feelings about the whole thing-- I hate a site that's littered with ads, but appreciate having free access to the information. If everyone turns to widgets for extracting the content without the ads, the information is no longer subsidized.

I think that's a bit off the mark for the lyrics widgets though-- as someone else said, if you're listening to the music it's already been paid for presumably. This isn't a viable method for reducing piracy-- that needs to be done around the audio. If anything preventing access to the lyrics is just putting a drag on online sales. Maybe that's just the biased opinion from someone who's fed up with the music industry...

nagromme
Dec 18, 2005, 12:46 AM
Thanks for the links.

I figure if I ever make a widget that collects information, I'll try not to deliver ALL the info, I'll have a link back to the site when you want full details, so they get their hits and their ad revenue. The widget would ideally be useful all by itself much of the time, but when you need more, the widget itself serves to promote the site. Everybody wins? It's a nice theory anyway...

Analog Kid
Dec 18, 2005, 02:25 AM
I figure if I ever make a widget that collects information, I'll try not to deliver ALL the info, I'll have a link back to the site when you want full details, so they get their hits and their ad revenue. The widget would ideally be useful all by itself much of the time, but when you need more, the widget itself serves to promote the site. Everybody wins? It's a nice theory anyway...
I've seen that done effectively in some cases-- RadarInMotion, for example keeps the Weather Channel logo up and clicking it takes you to weather.com. I can see this driving a lot of traffic to the site: you see the weather map and now you want a forcast.