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 Music Industry wants jail time for lyrics websites curlio  
 2005-12-09 12:32:24 BBC      
Money Matters It seems to be the latest way to make money in the music industry - sue your consumers! The latest move is by the Music Publisher's Association. The MPA represents sheet music companies in the US. The group is planning a round of legal attacks to begin next year. Their target will be websites that offer unlicensed music scores and song lyrics. Unlike the RIAA, the MPA won't be satified with merely getting money from the webmasters. The MPA wants jail time for the offenders.
MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed.

He said unlicensed guitar tabs and song scores were widely available on the internet but were "completely illegal".

Mr Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can "throw in some jail time I think we'll be a little more effective".
Yeah, I can totally support jail time for the webmasters of song lyrics websites. We'll just toss out the violent offenders, you know rapists, murderers, child molesters, and put those horrid webmasters in jail. It's not like our jails are full or anything.

Give me a break. Now I can understand the ire against guitar tabs and musical scores, as they do try to sell those to people. I don't agree with it, but I could understand the MPA wanting an RIAA "settle and we'll leave you alone" plan of attack. But if they're going to try to push for jail time, they're going have a fight on their hands. People settle with the RIAA because they know they'll be left alone. Tell those people that they're facing jail time and they're not going to just go on in and play dead. But simply for posting song lyrics you can get tossed in jail? Oh, come on! Artists used to place their song lyrics in the liner notes for fans to read. Now many artists leave the lyrics out, no doubt figuring the fans will just look it up online, and concentrate more on art in the liner notes.

What's next? Companies will start suing libraries? After all, you can get books, CDs, and DVDs all for free there, never having to pay one cent to the companies that created the material.

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 Obsidious 2005-12-09 13:01:44  
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The music industry just doesn't get it.

I don't know about you, but when I hear some cool song on tv(I don't listen to the radio) or in the mall or something, I fire up my favourite search engine and search for a phrase I might remember. Sure enough, I always find what I'm looking for thanks to lyrics sites.

But as we have all seen from the actions of the music industry, they have no interest in making their music easier to find and purchase. Also, their consumers are thieves. At least, that's the impression I get by all the root kits and malware they're throwing on their CDs to make them impossible to play(defective) in my CD player. 

 curlio ( Website Owner ) 2005-12-09 13:41:23  

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exactly! I can't count the number of times I've heard a song snippet that I like on TV or on the radio. I don't know the artist or title, so I google it. Often I've ended up finding new artists that I like, and end up buying the CD.

I remember a few years ago when the whole "suing p2p programs" thing started, Dusty and I were living in the netherlands. CD prices there were outrageous at the time, and Dusty and I simply couldn't afford to buy CDs from all the artists we liked. I said back then, that if prices were cheaper, I'd be willing to buy more CDs, even from artists I didn't know very well. Now that we've been living in the US (where CD prices are cheaper thanks to Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart), I do buy more CDs.

I don't get why the music industry just doesn't get what the rest of the business world does - success comes down to accessability and affordability. Technology is pushing the business world to be even more accessable. Why is the music industry lagging so far behind? 

 Obsidious 2005-12-09 18:29:58  
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I'm not sure if their lawsuit threats have any merit as long as the lyric sites in question aren't making any money. "For educational use only" still holds water as far as Fair Use is concerned. You don't see these vultures going after libraries, afterall. 

 Musician ( Guest ) 2005-12-18 13:40:38  

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I'm a concerned musician who of late has been disgusted with this issue. The website has been closed and I can now no longer download their exceptional tabs. These are usually more accurate then the junk they sell to use. I would like to make mention the this is the Music PUBLISHER'S Association. They are in charge of protecting the people who make and distribute sheet music. I'm sure there are more than a few of these that don't support the artist. If you visit the website I've posted then you will be able to see the links for the thousands of songs that were posted. Not only that but their were lessons and transcribed version of movie/tv themes and more. I have used my free open-source firefox extension (thankfully some things are yet free) to download every one of my favorite band's tabs off of a site before it is shut down. It is important that these resources remain online. To aspiring musicians, fans and others these are important to the world's culture. These lyrics and musical scores aren't always for sale. That is why online resources are NECESSARY. Too that, people only learn the lyrics or music because they respect or enjoy the music they are listening to. Pardon my rant, but the MPA is in for a heck of a fight.....
Concerned Musician 
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 Fish ( Guest ) 2005-12-18 18:14:17  

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While I realy hate to see the (often more accurate) internet guitar tabs go, I can somewhat understand the concerns held by the MPA when it comes to bands that have published tablature books. However, I cannot remember the last time I looked at a tab by any artist who is considered popular enough to have their tabs published in books, and therefor the MPA has NO RIGHT to take away those tabbed songs. When the MPA sees that all bands, popular or not, have published tabs THEN they can take awaymy metal tabs. 
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 GUEST ( Guest ) 2005-12-20 01:16:00  

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this is riduclous, I want to take some action against this but i dont know what else to do besides stop buying cds, which I havent done in the past year or two. 
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 Angry_Drums ( Guest ) 2005-12-29 14:27:40  

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Ok, copying sheet music is illegal, i can understand that. But last time I checked, most drummers dont sit down and write out sheet music before they play. It usually involves them playing what they FEEL should be there. I know thats how I play. But when you're covering a band, you usually try and keep what the origional musicians had because everyone likes it that way. And added with the RIAA...i'm about to the point where I don't even listen to music anymore...AND I PLAY THE DRUMS!!! Sad to say, but last time I listened to the radio was 4 years ago. It's really sad.  
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 GUEST ( Guest ) 2006-03-08 16:08:55  

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too much nonsense; I should sue because I paid for a CD and it's contents, including the lirics. 
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 GUEST ( Guest ) 2006-04-18 16:43:53  

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Most bands get started though doing covers. Think about it. You can't just write a song and expect people to like it, or to be signed by a record label. And you can't just pick a random style without trying it out. Music just doesn't work that way.

And think about the practice that is required to get better. You need the lyrics to stay in line with the music, and you need the tabs and chords to play. Isn't being a musician expensive enough without having to pay for these things?

Some CDs don't even feature lyrics anymore, but you don't find that out until AFTER you buy it. And CD prices are ridiculous, especially for the younger percent of the population who can't get jobs yet.

Eventually, when there are no more good bands out there, the Music Industries will suffer, or try to force us to be mindless drones listening to what THEY want us too (It's already happening in radio). After all, we're not all good guitarists/keyboardists/drumists/bassists/vocalists/composers/writers ...etc. overnight.  
Don't mind me, I'm just a guest.

 GUEST ( Guest ) 2006-05-16 22:41:21  

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Sorry, but I have no pity for the music industry (or Hollywood for that matter) regarding the whole downloading issue. That goes for lyrics as well. They've been socking it to the consumers for decades, laughing all the way to the bank. I have a real hard time with the corrupt accusing me of dishonesty. The times have changed. Drive-Ins were replaced by the cinemas, which are slowly being replaced by the DVD. I know we're talkin' music lyrics here, but I suspect you catch my drift.

"Welcome to Sherwood, my Lady!" 
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