Music Publisher Sorta Kinda Apologizes For Bogus Threat To Lyrics App
from the you-mean-we-have-to-follow-the-law? dept
Last week we wrote about music publisher Warner/Chappell shooting first and asking questions later by having its lawyers ship off the standard cease-and-desist-you're-infringing letter to pearLyrics, makers of a funky little app that helps you find any online lyrics to the songs you're listening to in iTunes. They're not publishing the lyrics themselves, but simply searching for them and displaying them -- which is why we wondered if Warner/Chappell would sue Google, since their new music search does essentially the same thing. Earlier this week, the EFF decided that W/C's lawyers might benefit by having the law explained to them, including the nice little tidbit about how they open themselves up to federal liability if they were found to have made "a knowing misrepresentation as applied to noninfringing activity." W/C's lawyers slept on this idea for a day or so, and realized it was time to start backpedaling quickly. The EFF informs us that W/C and pearLyrics have put out a joint statement, whereby W/C blusters for a bit about good intentions and such, before admitting that they made a mistake. Still, it's a pretty weak resolution. W/C now claims it only wanted to make sure that pearLyrics really wasn't infringing, and the letter was a bad way to do that. However, it's not clear if pearLyrics is coming back online -- and W/C made it clear that it's still not thrilled with the idea that lyrics sites somehow "undermine" accurate lyrics. If that's the case, it kinda makes you wonder what the lawyers and execs over at Warner/Chappell think of KissThisGuy.com, an archive of misheard lyrics -- whose whole purpose is to undermine accurate lyrics. And, yet, we're still confused about how writing down lyrics is likely to harm the music publishing business in any way.