The **AA's Step On Another Freedom

Apparently, we're no longer allowed to download lyrics to music we legally own. Boy, how does that work out?

To quote, "What disconcerts/disappoints me most however is that now, after fighting against illegal filesharing (something I can fully understand) and trying to shut down lyrics sites, Warner/Chappell seems to want to dictate Internet users what applications they are allowed to use for searching and browsing content on publicly available websites. I am not sure if they actually checked pearLyrics for what it does, or if they just thought, hey, let's try and just send a cease and desist letter, after all, this is just a little freeware developer and he won't risk standing up against us anyway. If they did realize that pearLyrics is just a highly specialized webbrowser, then, well, then it is indeed a black day for the freedom of Internet and the users choice of tools to use. Well, maybe they don't like caching, but then again, any webbrowser and even all the search engines use caching techniques, so where is the point? Could it be that those companies are too powerful for them to sue? And more importantly, what's next? Forbidding text editors because one might type copyrighted song lyrics? Or is it just that pearLyrics makes it too easy to find song lyrics?" (Walter Ritter)

I mean I just don't know what to say other than "What the hell?".

It's a sad day indeed when independent programmers like Ritter here get squashed on by Copyright-Crazy companies like Warner/Chappell. I really wish he woulda fought it more, but as his website indicates... It's just too costly to fight back.

And that brings us to the root of the matter...

Is the reason that the **AA's (and their members) 'win' all these settlement suits because they're right or because the people that they go after don't have the monetary resources to go up against a major corporation? On close inspection I think you'll agree that it's the latter.

What does this boil down to? Who knows. It just seems like eventually we won't be able to type our favorite song into (insert favorite search engine here) and get lyrics. No, instead we'll end up with some RIAA bullshit about how we're violating copyright by trying to access restricted material (which we technically already own)....

I'll write more on this later, but for now off to class.

And to Walter Ritter, if he ever comes across this, I'm sorry to hear about this heavy-handed treatment of you by this group. I never used your software but you can bet that I would have had I heard of it before.



1 Response to The **AA's Step On Another Freedom

  1. Mike S. Says:
    Follow Up: They seem to have backed down a bit on Ritter (though the software still remains down).