Quick follow-up to the
blog item we posted last week about the battle between the creator of
a Dashboard widget and one of the country’s
biggest music publishers. As explained in that post, Walter Ritter is the developer behind
pearlyrics, a Dashboard widget that searches for the lyrics to songs playing in iTunes and copies the words into iTunes’ lyrics field. Walter recently received a cease-and-desist letter from Warner/Chappell Music, which claimed the widget violated its copyrights. Ritter felt compelled to comply and took his widget offline. Then the cyber-rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent Warner/Chappell
a letter of its own, warning that the company’s actions could violate U.S. copyright law. Possibly inspired by that letter, Warner/Chappell has apparently backed off, issuing
a joint statement with Ritter that says, in part, “we are committed to working together to provide consumers a convenient, legal way to find accurate song lyrics.” Walter says it’s a “win-win situation for all.” We say: Stay tuned. The fight over lyrics online may not be over yet.