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
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2009 @ 9:43pm

    It's clearly fair use, and when similar things have been done in the past (similar in the sense of combining short pieces I mean--I know of no previous program that does this automatically) no one has taken the bait and tried to sue.

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