Following a report issued by lecturer and Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery in August (expanded in October), National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) have submitted takedown notices against 50 lyrics websites, such as RapGenius, LyricsMania or StLyrics, whose Google searches put them on the Top 500 websites in the U.S.

Lowery explains that not only these websites involve more money that we can possibly imagine (think of how many people browse the web for lyrics everyday!) but also that they shouldn't be able to operate freely: "This is not a campaign against personal blogs, fan sites, or the many websites that provide lyrics legally," says NMPA CEO David Israelite. "NMPA is targeting fifty sites that engage in blatant illegal behavior, which significantly impacts songwriters’ ability to make a living."

"The lyrics sites the NMPA refers to simply display song lyrics, while Rap Genius has crowdsourced annotations that give context to all the lyrics line by line, and tens of thousands of verified annotations directly from writers and performers," explains RapGenius founder Ilan Zechory in an email sent to The New York Times. "These layers of context and meaning transform a static, flat lyric page into an interactive, vibrant art experience created by a community of volunteer scholars."

The whole issue brings a new light to the discussing of copyrights and piracy in the music business, providing a differente perspective on "illegal access" to original material and the ability of sharing it freely. [via FACT]

See Also: 16 artists you should be checking out right now