As stately clearly in the title. The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is suing lyrics website like SeekLyrics and LyricsTime for copyright infringement in the US.
David Lowery, a singer, songwriter and guitarist listed 50 lyrics website for hosting infringing contents. Out of which, there were 11 sites, such as the commonly known RapGenius, SongLyrics and LyricsMania, that had license for putting up lyrics on the website. There were 11 other websites being pulled down due to the infringing contents but are still negotiating their future with NMPA.
Ever since that list was published, RapGenius then signed licensing deals with Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner/Chappell. It then raised $40 million in private investment, changing their name to Genius.
Crazy isn’t it? Just a website filled with lyrics on songs could be worth millions. There are so much money involved in the business side of music. It’s all about the money isn’t it. Websites like that generate large traffic so they are able to charge for people to put up ads. As time goes by, the publishers knows that they are generating income from their work, which in this case, the lyrics, they are unhappy because they are not being paid despite the content being used are theirs.
Similar to the case of Michelle Phan, which i posted previously, read here. If a random person decides to start a blog and puts up lyrics of all his/her favourite songs, the blog wouldn’t get notice until probably 10 years later. That’s IF the blog gets popular. Then again, if a person is using someone else’s content to generate income (might not be directly), it’s only fair that the person gets the required licenses and paid royalties for it.
World renowned multi-level marketing giant, Amway, is back in court for suing the largest record companies in the world, Sony, UMG and Warner for a copyright infringement case settled 16 years ago. Amway is suing the giants because during their 1998 settlement, the 3 giants were suppose to provide a notice of copyright infringement allegation by Amway distributors so that they could be investigated to stop them. But i guess it didn’t happen.
“According to court papers, Amway and its independent distributors were accused of making unauthorized use of music in videos promoting Amway products. That dispute was settled in 1998.” – Bloomberg.
“This case is about the three biggest Record Companies in the world conspiring to break promises they made to Amway, to ambush Amway, and to entrap people who uploaded videos with the Record Companies’ copyrighted sound recordings on to YouTube.” – Billboard.
The article is a bit confusing and i can’t seem to find other news sources to get more info, so i think i might have interpreted it wrongly, but i assume that back in the day, Amway used songs that was signed to the label for their product promotional videos without knowing the consequences in regards to copyright music. Their distributors claimed that they did not fully understand they legal complication in terms of copyright infringement. The labels were to get back to them with copyright infringement details but didn’t. Due to the ignorance of the distributors, Amway had to compensate $9 million. And that’s why they are now getting back on their feet and try to claim back their rights.
So yea, this is an interesting case because after so many years, another legal issue could just arise out of nowhere. The representatives from either companies probably might not be working there already, so there might be false accusations flying around, you never know. Just has to see who has a better lawyer i guess. I don’t think this case would be resolved anytime soon, but it’s definitely something interesting to keep a lookout for.