AfterDawn: Tech news

Music giant forces down song-lyric search utility

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 08 Dec 2005 11:49 User comments (19)

Walter Ritter, creator of the Mac OS X-based pearLyrics has been forced to kill the application after being threatened with legal action by UK music publishing giant Warner/Chappell. He received a cease and desist letter this week from the publisher. The company claims pearLyrics "enables people to copy and download lyrics. Inevitably this will enable people to download lyrics owned or controlled by this company, Warner/Chappell Music Ltd."
Amusingly, the letter cites the U.S. Supreme Court "Grokster" ruling, which is ridiculous as Ritter is based in Austria and the publisher is based in the UK where the U.S. Supreme Court has no jurisdiction. However, by reproducing song lyrics, pearLyrics is arguably infringing on Warner/Chappel's copyright. A song's words, music tabulation and guitar chords are all as protected by copyright law as the actual sound recording.

Of course, one can find song lyrics in a few seconds using Google and an Internet browser. Also, under Warner/Chappel's argument, Microsoft and Mozilla could be sued for their browsers contributing to copyright infringement, yet you wont see the publisher pursue Microsoft on the matter.

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19 user comments

18.12.2005 12:20

this is over exaggeration man everything is illegal these day these music studios pick on these little start up companies, and yet they have no balls to go against big cash strapped microsoft.

28.12.2005 22:45

That's not a bad idea the musice ind should go after Microsoft for making a software that could copy musice they should also go after people who make pc as they help this proccess o and lets not forget the people who make blank discs sure why not the power company they have a part in this too the list goes on but no pick on the little guy

38.12.2005 22:49

What a joke. There's no money in song lyrics. You can't exactly buy song lyrics in the shops so why they getting touchy about it.

49.12.2005 1:27

Why don´t they sue his parents too. After all if they´d never had sex he wouldn´t have been born, and therefore unable to steal those precious song lyrics. And another thought, if I listen to a song and then scribble down the words; am I to be arrested too? Watch out , you´re next.

59.12.2005 2:49

Donates a big fat Turkey to Warner Chappell, so they won't starve this Christmas.

69.12.2005 3:06

AAAAaaarrrghhh!! Im' off to plunder me sum song lyrics.

79.12.2005 4:06

In some albums they even have the lyrics printed for the person to read.

89.12.2005 15:06

Ok, so all those corp execs. are not making 20 Mil, a piece yearly any more from people downloading. Instead they are probably getting 18.5 poor things. All I know is for as long as I've have been buying Record albums 8 Track Tapes, and CDs nothings changed. Your still expected to buy a CD with 2 to 3 radio played songs you might like, along with the bands filler garbadge those same industry leaders don't want played on the air. Hey, even if people couldn't download, they would sample the other stuff on a CD and most would pass up buying because now we have the tools. Thank all whom are responsible for that.

99.12.2005 15:24

Why doesn't the RIAA,MPAA,etc. sue the whole Fn world and get it over with!

109.12.2005 19:10

Man they got to be reaching when they pick on a guy that uses a Mac. I think they are just pissed cause they aren't getting a piece of the pie from Apple. Get it piece of Pie...Apple Apple Pie Man tough crowd. You know Itunes from Apple. Oh well

1110.12.2005 0:43

Let's go and bust some Karaoke Bars!

1210.12.2005 4:17

Hey... don't let any of them find out you're singing in the shower, either. That's a big no no. Off to jail with ya.

1310.12.2005 20:12

haha i'm just waiting for cops to pull you over if they see you singing to an unregistered copy of Green Day

1410.12.2005 20:15

If any of you are interested in the music industry vs the consumer you should all go check out: Be sure to click on the pink box and download the greenday mashup "American Edit" with vocals mixed to some of green days newest songs from Johnny Cash, to Queen, To Bryan Adams, To everything else in's really incredible!

1511.12.2005 4:09

I didn't see a pink box on that website. Where is it?

1612.12.2005 8:11

I can't find any link to any mash, no pink box, etc ... ?

1717.12.2005 17:49

what are you people saying?!??!? this is clearly copyright infringement? :D SIKE! but wait, can we read the agreement or do we have to buy it first :) i know i know bad comment Happy Holidays!

1818.12.2005 19:38

The pink/baish color box. It's under the "today's news" section. You might have to click on the drop down arrow at the bottom of it too if you want to find the dean gray part. DEFAINTLY WORTH IT!! AMAZING!

1919.12.2005 8:51

these big music companies are just becoming sad and pathetic in My opinion

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