Petition To End Restriction on MPA Banning of Guitar Tabs and Song Lyrics Online
US Music Producers of America
More Info at:
The Music Producers of America have decided recently that guitar tabs and song lyrics, which were formerly freely available online, are now illegal. According to Lauren Keiser, president of the Music Producers of America, tabs and lyrics are "completely illegal" and David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association stated that "Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4508158.stm) While some bands do make their tabs available in books, it is far from common practice, especially in smaller bands. The tabs offered on websites such as MXTabs.net and Ultimate-Guitar.com were composed of a person's interpretation of a song, not copied out of a tab book. While there might have been a few exceptions to that statement, far and away the tabs were created by the users of such sites. And even so, what if you cannot find tabulature for a certain band? What if it isn't even made? This is one step too far by the recording industry. Lyrics, if anything, contribute to song sales. Many times people want to see the lyrics to help remember what song they were listening to, or if they have lost the literature that came in the CD case, or if they use legal services such as iTunes or Napster. Publishing information that is publicly available or the result of one person's interpetation of a recorded work of music is not illegal, and we cannot stand by idly as the music industry slowly removes our rights.