December 15, 2005 | By Rebecca Jeschke

"Good News for Music/Lyrics Fans After All?"

That's the question that pearLyrics asked today on its homepage. But the cautious optimism from developer Walter Ritter comes after a rough week.

pearLyrics is software that automates the process of adding lyrics to iTunes tracks. As EFF's Fred von Lohmann outlined in his blog post Tuesday, Ritter recently received a cease & desist letter from Warner/Chappell Music. The letter claimed that Ritter was liable for copyright infringement because he developed a tool that "enable[s] the reproduction and downloading" of song lyrics. Fred fired off a open letter in response, pointing out that while the software does not violate U.S. copyright law, if Warner/Chappell went through with its threats, it could get in its own legal trouble.

But according to pearLyrics, the chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell called Ritter today to talk about the situation. They published a joint statement, saying they "were committed to working together to provide consumers a convenient, legal way to find accurate song lyrics."

We're looking forward to seeing what the details are, and we were glad that Fred could be of help. To quote Ritter again: "I think his open letter to Warner/Chappell was very important to clarify the legal situation."


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