Most of you are probably aware that the RIAA (Recording Industry Artists of America) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) have been flicking legal boogers at internet users for several years now. Although their methods are medieval and (let’s face it) counterproductive, I understand their concern: if people can download high quality versions of music or movies through a P2P service for free, they have no incentive to buy these corporations’ (admittedly overpriced and usually lousy) products.
That is another topic in an of itself. But recently, the trend of litigious IP holders got worse. Now, the MPA (Music Publishers’ Association) is trying to sue (or worse) the proprietors of lyrics sites. Two things of note.
[MPA President Lauren] Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can “throw in some jail time I think we’ll be a little more effective”.
Not even the RIAA was that harebrained. Oh, it gets better, though.
David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers’ Association, added his concerns.
“Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing,” he said.
Well, sure, because if people can just go online and see the lyrics for a song, they have no reason to go out and buy the album.