Yahoo, Inc. has announced it will expand its online music section to include the lyrics to some 400,000 songs.
The expansion is an attempt to accommodate Internet users who seek legal and accurate words to their favorite music.
Scores of Web sites offer song lyrics and sheet music. However, research shows most of them are not adhering to copyright laws.
Several sites even allow users to submit their own takes on songs written by other artists. According to Yahoo Music General Manager Ian Rogers, this takes away from the work that goes into writing music and cheats the artists and copyright holders out of royalties.
Yahoos new section will attempt to level the playing field and protect the songwriters.
It fills a huge, gaping hole out there, Rogers said.
The venture, which launched May 1, will contain only official versions of songs. Yahoo will share revenue from ads that appear alongside the lyrics with the copyright holders, many of which are the songwriters themselves. Lyrics will be free to the public.
The expansion is the result of a partnership between Yahoo and Gracenote, a media management company that was responsible for the technology that automatically recognizes track information contained on compact discs.
The database of 400,000 songs will contain lyrics from around 8,500 artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Beyonce.
from the May 2-8, 2007, issue