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Let Them Sing... About Copyright?

from the infringing-or-not? dept

Shocklee points us to an awesome little app that lets you type in whatever lyrics (or, well, words) you want, hit play, and whatever you type will be sung for you, using clips from various famous songs. It's a really fun little app (though, I was amused that they have no clip for the word "lyrics" despite the service being all about lyrics) and can get pretty addictive. In fact, if you want to hear this entire post sung outloud via this system, just click here (please note, this will take a really long time to load, but it's totally worth it). However, like with many other cool music projects, I'm left wondering whether or not some would consider this to be copyright infringement. All of the clips are tiny -- one word, or in many cases, less than a full word, but they do seem to come from various popular and well-known songs. It's not hard to identify some of them. I have no idea if the company behind this service cleared all the licenses (it's possible), but if that's the case, you'd have to imagine that this service would get ridiculously expensive very quickly. If a simple lyric of, say, 8 words, involves a dozen clips, with royalties needing to be paid for each, such a service would quickly become impossible. Doesn't it say something when copyright law would effectively outlaw an awesome and fun app like this one?

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  1. identicon
    Johan, 17 Dec 2009 @ 11:18pm

    Swedish Radio can do this

    Two points making this possible in Sweden: 1. The sampling level that this entails would be allowed in Swedish courts (has been tried before, actually).
    2. The Swedish Public Radio, who seems to behind this, _HAS_ cleared all the licenses. All of them.

    They do actually have a database of all the music they ever played, too, so creating this was probably a rather fun excercise.

    Just another note: The problem in the US does not actually seem to be so much was with the copyright law itself, as the way your courts interpret it. And they of course do it as the lawyers ask in the lawsuits. It's not copyright or copyright law that stifles innovation, it is the litigation culture...

    PS: I have to agree on the quality of the clip.

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