AfterDawn: Tech news

Music Publisher apologizes for pearLyrics letter

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Dec 2005 14:16 User comments (10)

Music Publisher Warner/Chappell Music has apologized for a letter it send to Walter Ritter, an independent Austrian programmer over his pearLyrics program. pearLyrics which worked nicely with Apple's iTunes music store, simply scoured through sites on the net for song lyrics that users could then import. It did not have any database of lyrics itself, it just searched for them on public websites. After Ritter received the letter he immediately pulled the software.
Richard Blackstone, Warner/Chapell's chief executive office, noticed the loud outcry on the Internet and called Ritter to apologize for the letter. He also offered him the chance to work together. "The goal of Warner/Chapell's prior letter to Pearworks was to gain assurance that PearLyrics operated according to (legal) principles," a statement on the Pearworks Web site read. "However, in both tone and substance, that letter was an inappropriate manner in which to convey that inquiry. Warner/Chappell apologizes to Walter Ritter and (his company) Pearworks."

This is just the latest incident in a growing issue over free song lyrics web sites. Music Publishers believe the lyrics to a song and sheet music are copyrighted aspects of their compositions and shouldn't be given away freely online.


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10 user comments

122.12.2005 17:05

This so called "apology" rings hollow to me because it won't stop big brother from suing people for trillions of dollars because they have the lyrics of songs they have. Just imagine the cops storming into your house (without a search warrant no less) looking for lyrics inside a) your computer or b) inside the CDs you legally own. welcome to a brave new world where you can't even take a shit without big brother suing u or watching u do it!

222.12.2005 18:17

Its seems to me that big business is running our countries not "We the People". If something new comes along that makes it difficult for them to make money they have new laws custom made for them. I wonder who they have to pay to make that happen? It makes me sick.

322.12.2005 18:18

Its seems to me that big business is running our countries not "We the People". If something new comes along that makes it difficult for them to make money they have new laws custom made for themselves. I wonder who they have to pay to make that happen? It makes me sick.

423.12.2005 5:42

A resent article on local TV news in the UK reported that a music shop had been ordered to stop potential customers playing copyrighted rifts, (smoke on the water ect) on instruments they were trying out, prier to purchasing, as this was a breach of copyright without an entertainments licence from which song writers get a share of !! Whare will it end?

523.12.2005 9:21

I think this whole thing is absolute bullshit! So now they are telling us that we can't have transcriptions of songs. What's next? We can't have pictures of musicians either? I understand where they are coming from but most of the artists that people transcribe the music for don't have their own songbooks. So it is actually helping the artists. Just like mp3 sharing helps the artists get their music out there. This is just another way for the discussing and revolting music industry to make a feeble attempt at stopping the power of the internet and the independent artists from being successful without them getting their cut in it.

624.12.2005 21:34

The whole idea behind a copyright is to prevent somebody from profitting from another persons work. This is just a fascist perversion of the whole concept. What if I go to a museum, look at a piece of art, and write down what I am feeling, then distribute it for free. Is this now illegal?? If I listen to music and write my interpretation of what I am hearing, now I am not allowed to tell anybody else?? Dont be intimidated by this crap. That is their intention. This is not enforceable.

730.12.2005 11:24

@XENON: I think you meant "1984", by George Orwell, where the idea of "Big Brother" was basically invented. "Brave New World", by Aldous Huxley, is more of a "pre-programmed" kind of thing, where they manipulate genes and such to create exact clones that follow their own pre-destined tasks in life. I think they have a saying for this kind of action; it's called "Covering your ass." Ta!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Dec 2005 @ 11:27

830.12.2005 11:33

@rikoshay by "big brother" The context I meant was the government and the RIAA & the MPAA. Up here in the "great white north" the canadian equivalent to the RIAA is trying to make the entire music download issue into an election issue. (Federal Election is Jan. 23rd and after that we can ALL stop with the kidnergarden namecalling on both sides of the border sorry it's out of topic but it had to be said) Copyright laws up here allow people to download music without any risk because it's deemed private use. only when u upload songs to a P2P network is when u start getting into trouble.

931.12.2005 17:01

rikoshay, it is interesting what you say about copyrights in Canada. I have had a lawyer explain to me that here too, it is only technically illegal if you are reselling stuff. If you make a copy for yourself, it is not a violation. I think the music industry is trying to intimidate everybody and get them to settle out of court, and make examples out of people. Unless you are reselling copyrighted material, you are not really breaking the law. There is a 51 year old divorced mother of about 6 kids in Plains, New York who the RIAA tried to intimidate and settle for 10 grand. She put her foot down and said no. She already spent 24 grand on a lawyer (bloodsuckers) out of her own pocket. Now she is defending herself. The RIAA is going to come out of this one looking real bad. Trying to intimidate this poor divorced woman who is just trying to make ends meet supporting her 5 kids with no father. I think she deserves our support. If people like her continue to stand up to these RIAA fascists, they will crumble. They are trying to make us believe they have more law backing them up than they really do. They have settled with hundreds of poor people who they intimidated, for 5-10 grand on average, out of court settlement. They have figured out they can make more money through threats and intimidation than they can selling music. People need to develop some backbone and stop settling out of court. That is just playing into what they want.

101.1.2006 11:33

But you see, most of the people settling out of court are usually the ones who thought they made a big crime out of something small, and don't want to make anymore trouble for themselves than what they are in. That, people, are what you call "morons", people who don't know what they did to get what they got. That lady obviously knew something was shady about the whole thing, so she decided to fight it out because she knew the crime did not fit the punishment. Whether you think so or not, most of these "criminals" are more likely unsuspecting users of a new technology that don't know their .coms from their .txts. They usually just respond in a "fight or flight" scenario, depending on whether they feel they could fight it or not. Those caniving bastards at those large corps just target these poor individuals who seem to not know anything and take it out of court to "ease the punishment". You're right though jellolion, people should fight more, and the more they do, the better the opposition for these new laws will be commenced. It's not that hard to realize you're being cheated, but it's a lot harder to told so.

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