A songwriters group called out 50 websites Monday that it claims are stealing from them by posting their lyrics – and RapGenius had a response you’ll probably hear from lots of sites:
We do a lot more than post lyrics.
RapGenius founder Ilan Zechory told TheWrap that his site, which transcribes and analyzes lyrics, isn’t violating others’ copyrights. Rather, it’s using the lyrics to spark an online conversation about the songs and the themes behind them.
“We haven’t heard anything from the NMPA, but we can’t wait to have a conversation with them about how all writers can participate in and benefit from the Rap Genius knowledge project,” he said.
“Rap Genius is so much more than a lyrics site! 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,” he added.
“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. Furthermore, music is only a small part of what we do. Rap Genius is an interactive encyclopedia for annotation of all texts — anyone can upload and annotate texts relating to music, news, literature, religion, science, their personal lives, or anything else they want,” he concluded.
So there. It’s not just a place to look up the lyrics to the lyrics to “Passin’ Me By.” (Though you can do that.) It’s also a place to figure out what inspired those lyrics.
Oh: And you can use it to track the number of hip-hop references toLSD, Molly and Adderall through the years. Have fun!