Posting song lyrics -> jail time!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by commonpeople, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. commonpeople macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2004
    Finally! They're going to do something about the worst criminal element. I'm going to sleep much easier tonight knowing that those illegal lyric-download sites are going to be shut down. Creeps. I've never stolen music- and this is ridiculous.


    The music industry is to extend its copyright war by taking legal action against websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics.
    The Music Publishers' Association (MPA), which represents US sheet music companies, will launch its first campaign against such sites in 2006.

    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".
  2. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    That's BLOODY insane!?!?

    MOST of the guitar tablature is a best guess by people who listen to the music, and are able to reproduce the sound as a best effort. Most of the time (in the case of Dave Matthews Band this is true) the Tablature is nowhere near what the ACTUAL published Tablature is comprised of, if you were to buy the official books.

    What's next, Jail time for HUMMING copyrighted music ?!
  3. Laser47 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2004
    Well i guess closed captioning is next. Then next the words in songs will be encrypted so that when we listen to them we wont be able to hear the lyrics or remember them, because we might write them down.
    I would like to meat the president of the mpa, just to see what he is like.
    He is probably hates music, or anything creative and probably spends his days reading law books.

    I just fail to see how lyrics are illegal they arent stolen and most of the time they are obtained by people listining to music and writing the lyrics down.
    I guess we can say goodbye to karayoke, or rather music itself.
  4. pooky macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2003
    Ooh, good idea. Those bastards have always pissed me off, and need to be stopped!
  5. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    This is so @#$!ing unbelievable. I can understand busting people for distributing mp3's and such, especially since there are reasonable alternatives out there like iTunes. But this just blatanly defies freedom of speech rights (to the third power)! Essentially tablature is a dialogue of what a song is in a musical language. People offering their best guesses (which are often WAY off-- as others have said) online poses absolutly NO threat whatsoever. Where can I sign a petition?
  6. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Shhh... don't go putting ideas in their heads.
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    OK, I'll take the unpopular side.

    It doesn't matter whether the lyrics were transcribed by ear, photocopied off the CD booklet or whatever (or whether they are accurate -- poor quality does not exempt the action). Lyrics and musical notation are copyrighted just the same as books and magazines are.

    If I transcribed "Harry Potter and the Chalice of Mud" from an audiobook, and then published it, it would be a clear act of piracy --- regardless whether I was making a profit or not. No different from publishing the lyrics to a popular song.

    The authors of the lyrics have the right to say who copies and who sells published lyrics and sheet music. Unauthorized publication damages sales of authorized sheet music and songbooks, and also reduces the 'need' to buy the CD as opposed to a download.
  8. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    As much as it hurts, I agree with you regarding the lyrics. I can see an argument for protecting lyrics. I don't think it is a PR-savvy idea, but I can see the argument.

    As for the sheet music, I don't know if I can go that far. People that are publishing their best guess as to the music seem to disconnected to the actual music. The closest I could come to this would be the cover bands that change the format of the original song - but they are based off the official sheet music. I would think that someone hearing the music and attempting to copy it may be closer to forgery. IF the copier admits that the sheet music is their guess (or it is implied as a general point by the hosting site), I don't see how you can argue that the copyright is violated (to do so would set us on a path headed towards killing parody)
  9. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    So you think it's ok to sing copyrighted lyrics to yourself in the shower right? and it's still ok to sing them to a friend right? Would you say that it's alright to write them down? and if so would it still be ok to share that piece of paper with a friend? But not to publish it online? Is this your position? I'm just trying to figure out a what point people's right to speak/sing/share copyrighted work becomes bad. I mean, I can recite copyrighted poetry publicly, at what point is the threshold crossed?
  10. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    If I can't legally visit a website to read lyrics that are not provided in the CDs I buy, then I demand that vocalists stop mumbling and enunciate more clearly so I can understand what they're saying. :rolleyes:
  11. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    The RIAA is going to start taking legal action for every little thing someone does in regards to music.

    From now DJ's at weddings and other venues will have to pay a royalty fee for every song requested and played. Sheesh :rolleyes:

    However I also see why the RIAA will also do this. Then again maybe the artists should publish the lyrics on they website if they care about they fans. ;) :)
  12. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Most venues that play pre-recorded music already pay a licence fee (at least in the UK)...

    I can understand going after those who post sheet music. It is another revenue stream for the record companies after all.

    But going after lyric sites strikes me as just bloodyminded since it's easy enough for anyone to try to figure out what they are themselves and write them down. It's just most of us can't be bothered but want to know what that wail in the middle is supposed to be.

    I can see the argument that it's to encourage people to buy CDs but now that we have legal alternatives to CDs, then it's not going to fly unless a lyrics file is included with all CDs and downloads (even singles since you don't get them there)
  13. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    I have asked many DJ's here who play at weddings, etc.. if they do indeed pay a royalty fee and the answer is, "No." Things could change and it doesn't look pretty at all. At this rate people will resort to piracy, just to make a point.

    I also see the argument that one could jot the lyrics and post it on they site, and I see no reason as to why the RIAA would care in this case. If I quote a line from a book does that mean I am breaking the law as I have not requested permission from the author. Yes, I would be breaking the law, however it is not realistic to ask for permission from an author who you do not have contact information or will not know when you might even get an answer. Can you imagine at the flood of email requests the artist will receive in regards to this.

    This is coming across as just plain greed. Pinching at every penny is what the RIAA is doing.
    :rolleyes: :mad:
  14. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    it's not 'jail', it's 'gaol'. ;)

    It is pretty ridiculous. The moment that ban instrument tabulators then we really will be living in a world gone mad.
  15. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I now have a mental image of the musical equivalent of a speakeasy where everyone is dancing around until the cops show up when people pull out a chess board and sit around silently.

    Here's the link to the page about getting appropriate licences in the UK. Having just read through it, apparently in the UK, you even need a licence to play muzak down the phone to annoy customers. £3 a line apparently plus a standing charge! :eek:
  16. Mac_Freak macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    Oh great, what's next, all School bands will have to pay royalty to play songs on their spring concerts. Oh great, just kill all the music eductaion, art is already forgotten.

    BTW, grab all the music notes of the sites while you still can.
  17. commonpeople thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2004
    The only person I can think of who actually makes money off selling a book of lyrics is Bob Dylan, and even he lists all his lyrics for free on the official site.

    I think John Lennon said it best when he wrote ....

    oh never mind.
  18. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    If it were the writers of the lyrics that were complaining and wanted them off, thats a completely different story. They wrote it and are the creators of it, they should be the ones who complain. But what musician is complaining about this. Just one name that is pissed because the lyrics of a song is on the internet so everyone and read his or hers music. This is why EVERYONE hates the RIAA. Greed knows no bounds apparently.
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Heck, some of the humming and singing along with music by some people is so bad, it does deserve some jail time. :eek:
  20. Some_Big_Spoon macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2003
    New York, NY
    Ugh, it's not PIRACY! Piracy implies profits gained from the theft of someone else's property.

    If the program is free, if the website is free and ad-less, then there's no monetary gain! And if i grab a song off limewire, it's not piracy for f8ck's-sake! I'm not selling it, don't intend to sell it, or gain from it in any way.

    Stop regurgitating the FUD and dogmatic terminology that the RIAA and it's band of thugs propagates!

    FAIR USE damn it! Remember it!
  21. ibook30 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home
    You have a good point. Although I'd much rather have music freely availbale to whoever has a passion for it.

    But- you also made me think of a possible solution. Simply title the songs "A homage to ...." - So I download tab / lyrics for "A Homage To Tom Wait's Straight to The Top" - Mind you - it is not Tom Waits music, this is music written in the manner of Tom Waits.
    I can learn to play "A Homage To Tom Wait's Straight to The Top" without every illegally downloading actual music and lutrics written by Tom Waits...

    OK it's not perfect, but there are some creative ways to work with Intellectual Property. Especially if there is no intention to profit.

    Thinking about that- if a website makes money on ads - and people are going there to get lyrics created by an artist,,, that strikes me as cheating the artist. I guess from my perspective it should be the artists opportunity to post their work, they can sell ads on their site. And it would be a smart move for artists to post their lyrics and forums about their contents. It creates more interest in their work, and encourages imitation - which is the highest form of flattery.

    The music world / recording industry is in real a mess right now trying to catch up to technology.
  22. seabass069 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2005
    This is ****ing insane. What about all of the great musicians who learned other people's music to better themselves as musicians. Musicians know that it is better to play cover music to learn how to play on and off the stage. Without TAB and lyrics we might as well kiss live bands goodbye. Musicans DO NOT have the money to buy lyrics and TABS of every song they want to learn to play. I just don't inderstand the motive behind all of this. I think we should completly boycott METALLICA and every other big mouth band or individual who doesn't want their music shared. They forget if it wasn't for the people who listen and trade cd's to their friends, they would never be as big as they are. The RIAA could stop all of this crap if they would not sell cd's at $20 a shot, when we only listen to one or two songs on the disc anyway. I could care less what the cover art is, I copy the disc straight to my computer then watch the disc get covered in dust. I eventually throw them away. They take up too much space. SHARE!!!
  23. devman macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    How true. It would seem stupidity know no bounds either when it comes to the RIAA.
  24. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Yep, it's like that pretty much everywhere. Even restaurants need to pay if they want to have music playing (with some exceptions for really small buildings or places only having small stereos).

    A DJ wouldn't be charged directly for this stuff; instead the place hosting the gathering is responsible for the bill.

    It doesn't work that way :( There is a test called "substantial similarity" that comes in play. The way copyright law works is that a near copy is still a copy.

    Parody isn't the example you want to look at. That fair use exemption comes about specifically because it is commentary or criticism of the original (and a title is almost never enough to cover that). Simply changing an occasional word or note here and there won't do it either.

    He's a composer, actually.
    The mechanical rights a recording label receives in order to release a recording of a song don't cover printed lyrics. They have to obtain those rights separately, but songwriters and their publishers don't always want to do that.
  25. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Anyone who uses tabs instead of real music should be in jail anyway :p

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