That National Music Publishers Association announced yesterday they are taking aim at sites they’ve concluded are illegally serving up lyrics and benefiting from advertising, subscriptions, or venture funding. Working on an algorithm from a University of Georgia researcher, they’ve identified 50 sites they say are the worst offenders.
On the list the NMPA published is karaoke site Karafun. Lyrics are an integral part of any karaoke setup – if there’s no lyric scroll, it’s basically just a backing track. So it’s no surprise that a karaoke site got caught up in the dragnet.
As you can see by the screenshot below, Karafun is offering several songs by songwriters that are on the Karaoke No-Fly List. And there’s plenty more forbidden karaoke there, including The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, and Dan Fogelberg.
Based in France, Karafun may be licensed to do business in the Eurozone, but without licenses in the USA, lyrics and karaoke sites can’ t legally do business here.
The sad part is, unlike a karaoke video-sync license, it’s not actually hard to get a lyrics license. Musixmatch and LyricsFind both offer quick and inexpensive ways to do so.
As long as lyrics sites are monetizing themselves with advertising or subscriptions, then they’re profiting at least in part from someone else’s work. Why not do the right thing and just buy the license already?