Did you even know lyric websites are illegal?
Have you ever even heard of the National Music Publishers Association?
Most people would answer “no” to these questions, and here we have another gaping problem in The Way We Used To Make Money Off Of Music.
Thanks to legal pressure, RapGenius, the crowd-sourced lyric analysis website beloved by anybody trying to figure out what in the hell Eminem was rapping on his last album, is going legit. Not that a library of perfectly proofread lyrics, and written up secondary and tertiary meanings of said lyrics, doesn’t make you legit in the eyes of most.
No matter how great a site is, posting the lyrics to songs they have no license to share ignores the laws in place. Even though we’ve all looked up lyrics at one point, there are many flaws with that existing system. Some lawyers somewhere thought you were stealing from Miley Cyrus when you were trying to figure out if she was saying ‘Molly’ or ‘Miley.’
Speaking about RapGenius, and all lyric sites at once, the president and CEO of the NMPA David Israelite has declared, in a statement, “These lyric sites have ignored the law and profited off the songwriters’ creative works, and NMPA will not allow this to continue.”
But unlike the majority of the websites that the NMPA was generally referring to, RapGenius is actually driven by hard work. All you need to do is click lyrics, and you get to peel back the layers of meaning, or help add definitions yourself. And unlike most lyric sites, RapGenius’ accuracy is regarded as flawless.
Everybody, except lawyers, likes them, but unfortunately, most people cannot look like an easy target to a lawyer, and live to speak of it. By getting a licensing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, though, RapGenius has started down the road to legitimacy, and one hopes they can do so without losing their cool. Remember the day Napster went from a file sharing network to a part of the terribly uncool Rhapsody?
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