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Music Industry Fights Unlicensed Lyrics Websites

The National Music Publishers Association, which represents US music publishers and songwriters, began sending takedown notices to some 50 websites that publish unlicensed song lyrics in an attempt to protect the music industry members from piracy.  

The association uses the work of David Lowery, a researcher at the University of Georgia, to establish the list of websites that are not authorized to post song lyrics on the Internet and profit off the creative work without paying royalties.

“Unlicensed lyric sites are largely ignored as copyright infringers, but in fact these sites generate huge web traffic and involve more money than one might think” said David Lowery in a report on the NMPA websites. “The lyric business is clearly more valuable in the Internet age.”

The takedown notice may be followed by lawsuits in what often evolves into long-term action against the numerous websites distributing unauthorized content, including song recording, song lyrics and music videos. The first three music copyright infringing websites pointed out by NMPA are rapgenius.com, lyricsmania.com, and lyricstranlate.com.

The music industry group focuses on websites that gain money through advertising placement without paying royalties to songwriters and publishers and aren’t licensed via websites such as lyricfind.com and musixmatch.com.

“The goal is not to shut down the infringing sites but for the NMPA and the sites to work together to iron out an agreement,” said NMPA spokeswoman Amy Lee, as reported by NetworkWorld. “Still, if the sites don’t become licensed or otherwise change their ways, lawsuits could come next.”

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