Music Publishers Win $6.6 Million in Song Lyrics Copyright Case

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Michael Jackson once sang, “You can’t win / You can’t break even/ And you can’t get out of the game.”

With that in mind, a group of music publishers including Peermusic, Bug Music and Warner Chappell Music has won $6.6 million in a copyright infringement lawsuit against LiveUniverse, Inc. for displaying lyrics online to such songs as Van Morrison’s “Moondance” and Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind.”

LiveUniverse was a company founded by Brad Greenspan, one of the co-founders of MySpace.

Among LiveUniverse’s properties were lyricsdownload.com, completealbumlyrics.com and lyricsandsongs.com. None of the websites are still operational, which represents some form of victory by the publishers after three years of litigation. On Tuesday, the publishers attained a final ruling on a default judgment from a California federal court awarding them $12,500 for each of the 528 songs that were found to be willfully infringed.

That said, collection could get interesting.

Greenspan is a colorful character, who sued after Intermix Media “undersold” MySpace to News Corp for $580 million, called for an investigation from the Justice Department for “one of the largest merger and acquisition scandals in U.S. history,” battled Rupert Murdoch in a bid for the Wall Street Journal, and donated to the anti-spyware cause before having to pay up to settle a spyware lawsuit brought against him by the New York State attorney general’s office.

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