MPA on the Prowl ( Again ) for Lyrics Sites


Hold on to your hats the MPA (Music Publishers Association) is due to send out cease and desist notices to lyrics sites with ads on them in March. Interestingly they have decided to not go after sites the do not include advertising. This opens the question, in my decidely non legal mind, is it proper for a company to selectivley enforce its intellectual property restrictions? Does the intentional lack of enforcement imply a forfeiture of rights?

via WSJ Law Blog


Selective Enforcement Proper?

I don't know, but it seems to be SOP. The RIAA tends to go after the people sharing files, not the people downloading files. I believe they could argue that they go after the ones that come up on the radar, as prosecuting everyone is cost prohibitive.

I also believe they could argue that going after sites that are earning money from their copyrighted content is priority. Proper? I dunno. Legal? Yes.

And I don't think you can equate prioritizing enforcement to 'intentional lack of enforcement'.

I see where your coming from

I see where your coming from but, the article linked to specifically says "Sites that aren’t trying to make money from the lyrics and sheet music won’t be targeted.". To me thats intentionally not enforcing your IP rights.

Legal, sure. But a very poor

Legal, sure. But a very poor choice of tactics that is just going to muddy the already very cloudy waters. I read and hear enough from the "I can copy anything I want 'cause I don't make any money off it," kiddies that already don't have a clue. The MPA is doing what it has to for itself, but by throwing this "precedent" out there it's just going to open a whole new can of worms.

High Profile

Well if they go after enough high profile people they will scare whole bunch of others into compliance. How many people stopped using Kazaa when the RIAA started taking people to court. Not saying it's right, but it is just business.

Fair Use

I don't see this too shocking as fair use claims you can only use something for your own personal use and not commercial gain so they're going after the ones where it's not a fair use question and a slam dunk legal standing.

Makes perfect sense to me.

well, there's always russia

well, there's always russia (for now, at least). hopefully these sites will be able to move there. mp3 sales have moved there, since russian laws currently do not cover digital media.

Bill.. Fair use has

Bill.. Fair use has limitations to the amount you are allowed to quote from an original source. So posting all the lyrics of a song would be illegal.

I know it has limits

But people commercializing it is just an easier target than dropping the hammer on fan sites.

Lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel's Feeling Groovy

Simon and Garfunkel Lyrics. Song: Feeling Groovy (59th St. Bridge Song)

Slow down, you move too fast, you've got to make the morning last
Just kickin' down the cobble-stones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy

Feeling groovy

Hello lamp-post, what's cha knowing, I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me, do-it-do-do, feelin' groovy

Feeling groovy

I've got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me

Life I love you, all is groovy

Fair use includes editorial use, for analysis and commentary. Here Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel throw out a happy song, where the lyrics reflect a focus on meaningless trivia encountered on a typical stroll in the city neigborhood. Free of obligation, the author notices the flowers, the cobble stones, the morning dew. Note the use of the playful "ain't cha". Note the personification of the lamp post. Note how this commentary legitimized the fair-use republication of those lyrics above, in their entirety.

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