What does that mean? Well in much the way EMI, Warner Music and Sony banded together to stop file sharing, Peermusic, Warner Music’s Warner/Chappell and Bug Music have launched a lawsuit against two companies for alleged copyright infringement of unlicensed use of lyrics online. Their first targets are the site LiveUniverse and Motive Force LLC (the latter of which hosts a useful LyricWIki page).
According to Billboard, "The lawsuits alleged that LiveUniverse, Inc. and its owner Brad Greenspan, and Motive Force LLC and its owner Sean Colombo, engaged in willful copyright infringement on a vast scale, according to the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization which issued a press release on behalf of its members participating in the lawsuit.”
More frighteningly, the story goes on to say that "MPA (Music Publishers’ Association) president Lauren Keiser wanted sites carrying song lyrics shut down, also calling for authorities to, “throw in some jail time” just to make the situation thoroughly clear, said p2pnet in 2005."
So, reprinting lyrics sans permission equals lawsuits. Don't scrawl "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in your notebook, kids.
Source: The Daily Swarm