After Lawsuit Threat, LyricWiki Is With Wikia

September 23rd, 2009 by Nile Flores Leave a reply »

Written by Nile Flores (@blondishnet on Twitter)

A recent article in The Register called US music publishers sue online lyrics sites. TechDirt also covered this in their article Music Publishers Now Suing Lyrics Sites And Their Execs. One of the sites included was LyricWiki. Basically this lawsuit would shove the site in with those who burn and sell music without a license.

Also, recently Wikia acquired LyricWiki. As explained in their LyricWiki:Wikia Migration FAQ:

The dream will live on – Yay! Wikia has arranged a licensing deal so that royalties can be paid to music publishers, which will avoid the nasty risk of the site being sued out of existence. It’s good to know that our years of hard work won’t be evaporating any time soon! This is a gigantic relief for me and I’m sure many of you as well.

It is unfortunate to hear such things have to happen to some sites. I am willing to bet it was more for the money to sue in these economic times, rather than to stick it to another for copyright infringement. With so many sites out there that involve lyrics.

No offense, but when I go to a lyrics site, I am usually thinking of a tune or maybe a friend asked and here I am searching to find the song. Not all artists print their lyrics within their albums. I know, I have quite a few CDs on my shelf to prove that. So – these lyrics sites are really useful. Some of these lyrics sites I have gone to for years have been open for over a decade. How is a .ORG site (which technically by definition means the site is not really for profit) actually profitting from this?

As Michael Masnick said in his Techdirt article about his opinion on these lyric sites being sued.

I’d really like to see them prove that. These sites aren’t profiting off the backs of songwriters, they’re helping more people find and understand the lyrics of songs they like. That gives fans a closer connection to the music and more reason to buy things which will actually bring songwriters money. It’s stunning how shortsighted and backwards the music publishers are being here.

Although it has been said years ago that it was indeed illegal to do such, these sites have been harmless. Anyway…

For me to LyricWiki, I guess it kind of was a forced move to go to Wikia. Myself, I probably would have done the same if faced with being sued and the licensing price alone was insanely expensive. Sorry to hear about it – may Wikia not kill your site.

  • Wow. Very interesting (and potentially troubling) news. I have one .org website with a page of lyrics on it strictly for information purposes. I'm thinking I'd probably do well to take that page down at this point if publishing companies are going to become so anal about lyrics at this point.

  • I would probably leave it up until they decide to crack down on smaller sites when they get desperate for dough.

  • It just makes me glad I am NOT running an archive right now so I don't have to worry about that issue. ;-)

  • That sort of issue was why FanFiction.Net banned songfics. At the time that THEY did that, the German labels were really going after people. Some people in our favorite corner of fandom at the time wanted to allow that sort of content on their own archives in response.

  • I know RockFic put a limit on the number of lines of lyrics you can include in a fic, I think around that same time? But yeah. Seems like it could be another round of trouble coming over the issue.

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