Tuesday 16 October 2012

MySpace founder's website wanes lyrical

Original lyrics to A Day In The Life by  Lennon & McCartney
A group of US music publishers led by Warner Chappell, Bug Music and Peermusic have won a lawsuit against a lyrics website run by Brad Greenspan, one of the co-founders of MySpace. The American's National Music Publishers Association had previously announced its members were suing LiveUniverse in August 2009, alleging that the site was infringing copyright by making lyrics available without a licence from the relevant publishers. Judge George Wu ruled in favour of the publishers last week, without a full hearing, because of Greenpan’s "misconduct": Greenspan failed to provide information (discovery) and failed to show up for hearings as required by the court.

In his default judgment Judge Wu said “[the] Defendants have wilfully infringed upon plaintiffs’ copyrights, even after being sanctioned, both by this court and Magistrate Judge Abrams” and “Their blatant disregard for the civil justice system favors a substantial damages award.” LiveUniverse was ordered to pay the claimants $12,500 for each of 528 listed songs which the site published lyrics without permission, a total of $6.6 million, while an injunction bans Greenspan from publishing any other lyrics on his site without first getting permission from the relevant publisher. 

Peermusic III Ltd. v. LiveUniverse Inc., 09- 06160, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles) 


The original lyrics to A Day In The Life, the last tack on the Beatle's Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sold for $1.2 million in July 2010 

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