The National Music Publishers Association have a bone to pick with RapGenius.com, the most notable of 50 sites issued a take-down notice for unlicensed lyrics. A take-down notice is preliminary action with the next step being a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Anyone who remotely knows about music industry politics will tell you that scenario never has a happy ending.
According to Billboard.com, the founders of the RapGenius have not heard directly from the NMPA but they’re more than willing to see how they can resolve the issue without being bullied into a corner.
Rap Genius Co-Founder Ilan Zechory said his New York company had not heard from the NMPA, “but we can’t wait to have a conversation with them about how all writers can participate in and benefit from the Rap Genius knowledge project.”
Zechory added, “Rap Genius is so much more than a lyrics site! The lyrics sites the NMPA refers to simply display song lyrics, while Rap Genius has crowdsourced annotations that give context to all the lyrics line by line, and tens of thousands of verified annotations directly from writers and performers. These layers of context and meaning transform a static, flat lyric page into an interactive, vibrant art experience created by a community of volunteer scholars. Furthermore, music is only a small part of what we do. Rap Genius is an interactive encyclopedia for annotation of all texts – anyone can upload and annotate texts relating to music, news, literature, religion, science, their personal lives, or anything else they want.”
There was no timetable given on when Rap Genius and the other sites named have to respond to the notice.
Take a look at the extensive list of sites being targeted in the gallery below. Is your go-to spot in a bit of hot water?