RapGenius Resolves Legal Dispute with Songwriters

Company was among 50 lyrics sites accused of illegally profiting from songwriters’ work

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

Music lyrics site RapGenius has settled its dispute with songwriters over its posting of hip-hop lyrics.

Last November, RapGenius was among 50 lyrics sites the National Music Publishers’ Association accused of illegally profiting from songwriters’ work. The industry group threatened to sue the sites if they didn’t take down their lyrics.

Also read: RapGenius Responds to Claims of Copyright Infringement From Songwriters

Rap Genius co-founder Ilan Zechory defended his site, noting that it interprets and debates lyrics, rather than simply posting them. But he said he was open to discussions.

Those talks led to Tuesday’s announcement that Rap Genius (pictured) has entered into a licensing agreement with the NMPA.

Also read: Songwriters Target Lyrics Websites RapGenius, StLyrics, LyricsTranslate

“RapGenius is a unique site that allows music fans to connect with songwriters and the emotions they express through their lyrics. That’s why today’s announcement is a welcome one, and I applaud RapGenius for respecting the rights of songwriters and compensating them fairly for their work,” said David Israelite, NMPA president and CEO. “As more music fans find lyrics they relate to and are curious about online, it becomes imperative that various industries form collaborative partnerships, such as what NMPA and Rap Genius have accomplished today.”

Zechory said he was pleased to have reached an agreement.

“The NMPA’s members represent some of the best songwriters in the world. Rap Genius allows these songwriters to showcase their work and interact with their biggest fans in unprecedented ways — we couldn’t be more excited about this partnership,” he said.

In November, Israelite said 5 million people a day Google song lyrics, but that more than half of lyrics sites don’t pay song writers for their words.