Japanese Collection Society Wants To Charge You For Tweeting Lyrics

from the you-can't-be-serious dept

One of the earlier fun things on Twitter was the lyric of the day bot @lotd. Basically, if you sent a Twitter message to lotd, it would automatically repost the lyric for other lotd fans to read. Neat! But is it copyright infringement? Well... we've seen claims that lyrics online need to be licensed, and there have been a few discussions around whether or not you can copyright a tweet, but would anyone seriously try to collect royalties on Twittered lyrics?

Apparently the answer may be yes. Reader Anshar points us to a story claiming that Japan's collection society JASRAC is putting together plans to collect royalties on Twittered lyrics. Honestly, the whole thing sounds so ridiculous that I'm hoping the original report is coming from the Japanese version of The Onion (please, someone tell me that's the case). But this is JASRAC we're talking about -- which attacked YouTube quite early on for not stopping all copyrighted songs from appearing on the site.

According to the report, JASRAC said: "We want everyone to recognize that Internet is not your private place," in defending the plan to charge royalties for such lyrical tweets. No, it's not your private place, but that also means it's not the industry's private place to automatically demand the right to collect money any time anyone utters a snippet of a lyric. Japan's copyright law is a lot less well developed than the US, and it doesn't really have fair use within the law (notably, Japan has been a big supporter of ACTA).

Either way, if this story is true and not just some joke (please, please, tell me it's a joke), it's really quite ridiculous. People tweeting lyrics are not harming anyone by any stretch of the imagination. They're fans. They're encouraging more people to find out about a song or to remember an old song. They're not taking away licensing rights or revenue or anything. They're sharing lyrics, which is something JASRAC should be encouraging.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Steve, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    "They're not taking away licensing rights or revenue or anything."

    Which seems exactly the reason they are investigating it ... it's a potential source of revenue!

     

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  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    THEM STEALERS ARE DESTROYING OUR LYRIC-TWEETING INDUSTRY!!!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    ant anti mike, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    i have a finger up guess which

    yup file under get bent....

    then people stop doing it.
    THEN people won't here about music and ownt know what to buy
    then we win cause no more music
    says the evil stuffed up religious crazy bag winded yacht builder

     

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    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:39pm

      Re: i have a finger up guess which

      Isn't that what they want?

      You go into the record shop (hehe) and see a bunch of albums from groups you've never heard (of) before... you lay out $25 on one of these albums--which turns out to be complete garbage. A waste of money.

      However, they've got your money and that's about as far as they care to take the whole 'quality' angle.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    ant anti mike, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    @lobo

    no instead what happens is they just keep what they have and like and if they know a musical guy that gives it away free they get from him.

    otherwise im not nor is anyone i know gonna shell out 25$ for music HA right. NICE try ain't also gonna happen what it will do is hasten the demise of labels which im all for and in fact im gonna go out on a limb and predict that after ACTA the labels will have at most 10 - 12 more years before they are totally GONE

     

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  •  
    identicon
    ant anti mike, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    lets play a game Lobo

    how many 25$ drink coasters are you going to buy before you say fuck it and stop.
    THEN this game is over.
    1 2 5 or ten maybe 100?

     

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    •  
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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:02pm

      Re: lets play a game Lobo

      You're exactly right, they're only hastening their demise.

      And, if you're me, the answer is zero $25 drink coasters.
      ; P

       

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  •  
    icon
    Danny (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:02pm

    Tweet this!

    Let me tell you how it will be; There's one for you, nineteen for me. 'Cause I'm the taxman, Yeah, I'm the taxman. Should five per cent appear too small, Be thankful I don't take it all. 'Cause I'm the taxman, Yeah, I'm the taxman.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Good luck trying to touch US users.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Hello

    Is it me you're looking for?

    My check is in the mail.

     

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    bigdirtbag (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:35pm

    all your lyric are belong to us.

     

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    Palmyra (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Try collecting

    "From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli"

    Dad, GRHS, was with the 2nd Marine Division during WWII. He never did like you guys to the day he died. So in his honer and because of this collection BS I'm letting the grass grow around my house.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 3:00pm

      Re: Try collecting

      "From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli"

      this is completely off topic but did anyone else have to sing this in grade school and thought "where the heck is 'Triple-E'?" the whole time?

       

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  •  
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    Jane, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    addicted

    "Been caught stealing.. once.. when I was five"

     

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    charlie potatoes (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    JAPS

    They eat our whales because they think it will make their tiny penises bigger. What do you expect? We stopped too soon in 1945.

     

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    william (profile), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 4:09pm

    Mike, I can tell you this is not a joke.

    Being very familiar with Japanese manga, I can tell you that JASRAC has really really tight control over song lyrics in Japan. All the manga I have ever read that has lyrics in the story will have "authorized by JASRAC #000000" on the same page as a foot note.

    This is also the reason that no Japanese song lyric site exists (in Japanese). I have been trying to find a good comprehensive online database of lyrics for Japanese pop songs and I can tell you that I haven't found any in the last 10 years. For English pop songs here google will usually turn up something, but that doesn't happen for Japanese lyrics. If there are results, they are usually English fan sites that has some Japanese lyrics for certain artists.

    Seeing how this has been happening historically, I can see no reason why JASRAC is not planning to charge people for tweeting lyrics. And trust me, from their track record, they'll probably succeed, thus killing tweeting Japanese lyrics.

     

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    identicon
    :), Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    This is no joke.
    http://www.jasrac.or.jp/ejhp/operation/dawn_act.html

    It's very sad and I feel sorry for the japanese people, and youtube because according to their news they are having long talks about all of this.

     

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    identicon
    Rekrul, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    Honestly, the whole thing sounds so ridiculous that I'm hoping the original report is coming from the Japanese version of The Onion

    Honestly, the idea that music is SO important that people need to send out "Lyric of the Day" tweets, sounds so ridiculous that I'm hoping this whole thing is a joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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