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lyrics sharing


Hello,

I have a plan to start a blog for lyrics database of movie songs. I need to know if it is legal to share lyrics on a website/blog to make money?
If it is illegal, please guide me on how to obtain permission to use the lyrics of each movie. Should I contact each lyricist and obtain permission or is there an easy way to make this legal?

 

Kindly advice.

Br,
Venthz

 
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Lawyer, Scholar

A copyright subsists in lyrics and legally, you cannot share it just like that, even more so since you plan to commercialize such sharing; you'd need to contact the copyright owner who could be the lyricist or more likely, the music label, for a license to use the content.

I cannot advise or condone distribution of lyrics without a license, but in real world scenario, (a) who's going to bother if you post lyics online and (b) who do you think is going to pay you to access lyrics from you, otherwise available dime-a-dozen free websites on internet?


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Hello Mr. Atul,

Thank you for prompt reply.

(b) who do you think is going to pay you to access lyrics from you, otherwise available dime-a-dozen free websites on internet?

I mean to make money using ads and affiliates through my website traffic. This is where am concerned about it. Not initially, but when my blog becomes popular, the owners could a complaint. Hence, I need to think of obtaining permission from the lyricist. 

I needed clarification since few advices me that sharing lyrics is not an offense. But I assumed if I use it for my business then it's an offence. 
 

 

 

 
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Lawyer, Scholar

Originally posted by : Venthan
I mean to make money using ads and affiliates through my website traffic. This is where am concerned about it. Not initially, but when my blog becomes popular, the owners could a complaint. Hence, I need to think of obtaining permission from the lyricist. 

I needed clarification since few advices me that sharing lyrics is not an offense. But I assumed if I use it for my business then it's an offence.  

 

Whosoever advised you, lyrics' sharing is not an offense misguided you. That you may commit an offense and get away with it is something different from an act not being an offense. Lyrics are copyrighted material being musical and artistic works [Section 13(1)(a), Indian Copyright Act - and all such babies of TRIPS].

Ownership in copyright, that's a long story and I'd say, irrelevant for your purposes here. If you go by the book and follow the law to the letter, you may seek license to reproduce lyrics from the composer or music label Company or organisation such as the IPRS.

But here's something closer to life:

a. Licensing fee for reproduction of lyrics would be beyond any amount you can ever imagine or hope to raise from AdWords, AdSense, Affiliates and suchlike;

b. Even if you were to try, no copyright owner would ever bother to put in time and effort to license use of lyrics to a startup website hoping to earn from AdWords and Affiliate schemes.

What you might end up doing is this:

F**k Copyright; break the law; most probably never get caught given IPR enforcement being what it is; just become yet another run-of-the-mill-lyrics-copy-paste job ranked somewhere on 100th page on Google; some day if you are really really very very unlucky, get sued.

OR, act within fair-use, adaptation and other such enabling provisions of law and:

1. Use excerpts of lyrics but don't copy-paste entire song verbatim at length;

2. Add some original content of your own related to songs, artists, music et al;

3. Write your own reviews of songs, music albums and music books and affialite with [for instance] Amazon India;

AND

In either case, don't hope to become the next Mark Zuckerberg! [sorry].

 
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