Gracenote to make lyrics search, download service

Gracenote — the same company that provides the database used by iTunes to list artist, album and track information when you insert a new music CD in your Mac — announced Monday a licensing deal that will provide lyrics for commercial music from major music publishers.

Gracenote’s deal provides it with lyrics to the North American music catalogs of BMG Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Peermusic, Famous Music and dozens of others.

The company said with launch a lyrics service later this year designed to provide digital music retailers and others with the ability to offer legal access to music lyrics.

Apple’s iTunes was not mentioned by name in the statement from Gracenote, but it’s no secret that the software includes a “Lyrics” information tab for individual songs — it’s conceivable that this could be used to tie into a Gracenote database in the future.

Gracenote said that the lyrics listing services currently on the Web are largely unauthorized and unlicensed; some of them contain inaccurate or incomplete information.

Gracenote said that the licensing program for the new service will allow independent music publishers and songwriters to “opt in” to make their lyrics available as well.

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