NMPA Takes Action Against Top 50 Unlicensed Lyric Sites

Nov 11, 2013, 16:39 ET from National Music Publishers’ Association

Songwriter and Researcher David Lowery Publishes List of Sites Profiting from Illegal Use of Lyrics, NMPA Sends Takedown Notices to All

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a press event today the National Music Publishers' Association announced that it has sent takedown notices to the top 50 unlicensed lyric sites in an unprecedented anti-piracy effort.  NMPA is working with songwriter and University of Georgia researcher David Lowery who published an academic study listing top unlicensed lyric websites. These lyric sites profit from advertisement-generated revenue, yet songwriters whose lyrics are available on these unlicensed sites receive no compensation.

"These lyric sites have ignored the law and profited off the songwriters' creative works, and NMPA will not allow this to continue," said NMPA president and CEO David Israelite.  "This is not a campaign against personal blogs, fan sites, or the many websites that provide lyrics legally.  NMPA is targeting fifty sites that engage in blatant illegal behavior, which significantly impacts songwriters' ability to make a living."

NMPA's Anti-Piracy Program focuses on illegal websites, such as lyric sites, whose use of unlicensed content detrimentally affects songwriters.  NMPA plans further legal action against sites that are unwilling to license or remove infringing content.  Every day, there are over five million searches for "lyrics" on Google alone, and over 50 percent of all lyric page views worldwide are on unlicensed lyric sites.  NMPA has also successfully litigated against LiveUniverse and LyricWiki and received judgments of more than $7 million dollars on behalf of its members. 

"Unlicensed lyric sites are largely ignored as copyright infringers, but in fact these sites generate huge web traffic and involve more money than one might think," said David Lowery. "The lyric business is clearly more valuable in the Internet age."

Lowery has been tracking unlicensed lyric sites as part of his academic research at the University of Georgia.  Lowery's research found many lyric sites have well-established advertising schemes that yield significant annual revenue.  Sites often feature ads from major brands secured through prominent advertising exchanges.

About the NMPA
Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA's mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights.

SOURCE National Music Publishers’ Association