1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Publishers launch action against lyric sites

The US National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against two businesses which publish unlicensed lyrics through their websites. The lawsuits, headed up by Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music, allege that LiveUniverse, Inc. and its owner Brad Greenspan, and Motive Force LLC and its owner Sean Colombo, engage in wilful copyright infringement. The suits, which were filed in filed in the Federal Courts of the Central District of California and Western District of Pennsylvania, seek equitable relief and damages for the defendants' unlicensed use of the lyrics on their websites and in conjunction with certain web applications. NMPA president David Israelite said
"These sites are profiting on the backs of songwriters. It is unfortunate that
copyright holders must so frequently divert energies to protect their rights to
license and distribute their works. However, the demand for music prompts a
seemingly endless stream of illegal business models".
He added:
"Music fans are the biggest losers when licensed businesses, like LyricFind,
Gracenote and TuneWiki can't survive and prosper because unlicensed, illegal
businesses are allowed to thumb their noses at the law …we are confident the
courts will conclude that, like Napster and Grokster before them, these sites
are simply freeloading off artists and fans."

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