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   Author  Topic: A question about lyrics  (Read 1692 times)
Yosamite
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A question about lyrics
« on: Jan 4th, 2008, 4:34pm »
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Is it legal for a website to contain full lyrics? I can only assume that it must be, as a simple Google search shows tons of lyrics sites that have been running for years. I thought they might be outside of the US, but so far none are.
 
How exactly is this legal? As far as I can gather it it works as such:
 
These websites are essentially "libraries" full of lyrics, and thus, since they offer the material for free and to all, they qualify as "fair use." As I gather from their simple disclaimers, they are falling under clause 1 of fair use: "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes."
 
Is this analogy correct? If not, how haven't these sites been shut down?
 
Assuming they are legal, how is it that they are allowed to place banner ads on their sites? Is it because they are not making money directly off the lyrics, but rather off their presence? I'm not quite sure how this one flies with most companies.
 
If anyone has had any personal experience dealing with this sort of an issue, I'd love it if you posted. I've been hunting around trying to find more information regarding the topic, but most of it is extremely inconclusive.
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Isaac
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Re: A question about lyrics
« Reply #1 on: Jan 4th, 2008, 5:25pm »
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on Jan 4th, 2008, 4:34pm, Yosamite wrote:
Is it legal for a website to contain full lyrics?

 
If the display of lyrics is without permission of the copyright holder, it is very likely that the display infringes with or without banner ads.   Not charging isn't enough to make giving away someone else's property to "fair use".  
 
 
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Isaac
Yosamite
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Re: A question about lyrics
« Reply #2 on: Jan 4th, 2008, 7:38pm »
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Logically yes, but that fails to answer the more important question: if it isn't legal, why are so many of these websites in existence? I don't believe that multi-million dollar companies and organizations (enter RIAA) wouldn't take the chance to crush them for violations.
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