« Acclaim Publishing Rights Auction | Main | Google Earth Mac OS X Beta Leaked »



PearLyrics was a free application and widget that searched the web for song lyrics for your iTunes library. It was simple, free, and worked quite well. But then Warner/Chappell Music (one of the biggest record companies) decided they had not shit on their customers enough. They took a break from sueing their customers and decided to send a cease & desist order to the creators of PearLyrics. Nevermind the fact the PearLyrics itself was not breaking any laws, just parsing data freely available on the web. In their own words:

"This is a sad time for all those of us with a passion for music and song lyrics. As of December 6th, 2005 pearLyrics is no longer available due to a cease and desist letter from Warner/Chappell Music Limited. As a freeware developer I can not afford to risk a law suit against such a big company, although personally I don't see where pearLyrics should infringe any copyrights handled by them. After all pearLyrics only searches and accesses publicly available websites, displays, and, at the users wish, caches its content. Something that can easily be done with any combination of search engine and webbrowser too. Well, but I'm just a developer and not a lawyer.

I feel very sorry for all users of pearLyrics who provided me with such great feedback - I would have loved to provide them with even further enhanced versions.

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?

I have tried to convince Warner/Chappell twice that their cease and desist letter might just be based on a big misconception of what pearLyrics is all about, especially since they mention the MGM/Grokster case as example. However my mails remained unanswered."

Warner probably knows they stand no chance in court, but unless someone like the EFF steps up to fight the little guy has no choice but to give up.

A little bird told me the file might just be available here.

-CGP fo Life-


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Web CapsGetPeeled.com
Geo Visitors Map