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OT: music publishers' association attacks websites

zachary vex

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how annoying.




Song sites face legal crackdown

By Ian Youngs

BBC News entertainment reporter



Guitar tabs and other musical scores are widely available

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.


Guitar licks and song scores are widely available on the internet but are "completely illegal", he told the BBC.


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".


Bitter battles


The move comes after several years of bitter legal battles against unauthorised services allowing users to download recordings for free.


Publishing companies have taken action against websites in the past, but this will be the first co-ordinated legal campaign by the MPA.


The MPA would target "very big sites that people would think are legitimate and very, very popular", Mr Keiser said.


"The Xerox machine was the big usurper of our potential income," he said. "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."



Music publishers and songwriters will consider all tools under the law to stop this illegal behaviour

David Israelite

National Music Publishers' Association

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers' Association, added his concerns.


"Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing," he said.


"Music publishers and songwriters will consider all tools under the law to stop this illegal behaviour."


The campaign comes after lyric-finding software PearLyrics was forced off the internet by a leading music publishing company, Warner Chappell.


'No alternative'


PearLyrics worked with Apple's iTunes, searching the internet to find lyrics for songs in a user's collection.


"I just don't see why PearLyrics should infringe the copyright of Warner Chappell because all I'm doing is searching publicly-available websites," PearLyrics developer Walter Ritter said.


"It would be different if they had an alternative service that also provided lyrics online and also integrated [with iTunes] like PearLyrics did.


"But they don't offer anything like that at all."


Warner Chappell were unavailable for comment.

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obviously, the reason they waited until the infrastructure for the websites was quite complete is that they want the websites to collect money for them, and turn over all advertising profits.

i wonder if because they waited so long, they've lost some legal standing.

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Originally posted by Brian Marshall

end result... next generation of guitarists will have better ears.

Nothing like throwing a beattles album on and figuring them out for your selves.



With that kind of logic the Man should take away hydro and running water, turning us into a race of incredible survivalists!

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Didn't we already go through this with all that OLGA stuff like 8 years ago? I thought they had given up on it.

I always figured that since most tabs are simply worked out by ear and put on the internet that this case was crap. Half of the tabs on the internet are wrong anyways. If its an official transcription from an tab or music book then thats a different story.

But how is somebody figuring out a song by ear, tabbing it and sharing it with others any different than if they guy figured out the song and went around teaching it to tons of people?

Lyrics I'm not so sure about, you could probably make the same argument as I did with tabs.

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Originally posted by Wilbo26

...Half of the tabs on the internet are wrong anyways....



Half? Try like 99% of them. I usually look up a tab, play it, realize its wrong, then figure out the right way to play the song just by modifying the incorrect tab. 1/100 tabs are actually correct.

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Haha well I went with a safe estimate because I haven't checked out every single tab on the net.

I usually use tabs as a basic guideline if I'm having trouble figuring out a song, usually just pure laziness. If I'm that lazy I'm sure as hell not going to go out and buy a 25 dollar tab book just to figure out some song I heard on the radio.

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