Thursday, September 3, 2015

Any Way Around Lyric Licensing?

Lorenz Hart: one great lyricist
Dear Rich: I want to start a lyric website that would link to a reference site like Wikipedia. Would I need a linking agreement or have to pay a fee? I am considering framing as an option as well.  I was wondering if there was any way around leasing the lyrics from publishing companies  or from a website that provides a leasing API such as Lyricfind
You shouldn't run into a problem (or have to pay a fee, or have to sign an agreement) when linking to a publicly accessible web page. Hypertext linking--like this--only causes  a problem if:

Licensing the lyrics. We don't know of any legal way around licensing lyrics. Having said that, we are also aware of the hundreds of unauthorized lyric sites on the web. The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), prodded by "squeaky wheel" songwriters has ramped up its pursuit of pirate lyric sites reaching settlements with sites such as RapGenius and LiveUniverse while it continues to pursue others. In other words, unauthorized users may fly below the radar ... but as page views increase, so do the chances of being hassled.

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