Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?

Now this is just plain silly.

I'm browsing through some songs using Rhythmbox, one of the Linux song players, having just discovered the "Lyrics" feature. I select an oldie but goodie and instead of lyrics I get
Unfortunately, due to licensing restrictions from some of the major music publishers we can no longer return lyrics through the LyricWiki API (where this application gets some or all of its lyrics).

The lyrics for this song can be found at the following URL:

<a href=''>Public Image Ltd.:Public Image</a> [sic -- the raw HTML appeared verbatim in the text; probably there's some setting to tweak to fix this]

(Please note: this is not the fault of the developer who created this application, but is a restriction imposed by the music publishers themselves.)

Lyrics provided by
Huh? I can go browse the web and look at the lyrics all I want, but the music publishers want to make good and sure I can't do something nefarious with them, like display them in a popup on a music player? This sort of thing does nothing to quiet the accusations that music companies Just Don't Get The Web and are instead shooting themselves repeatedly in their collective foot fighting pointless legal battles.

I believe it's Fair Use for me to quote a small portion of the lyrics in question:
What you wanted was never made clear
Behind the image was ignorance and fear
You hide behind this public machine
Still follow same old scheme


No comments: