Ray Charles Publisher Wins Copyright Lawsuit

The suit concerned the online publication of lyrics.

Posted: 10/12/2012 11:52 AM EDT
Filed Under Ray Charles, Music News

A group of music publishers, including Warner Chappell Music, Peermusic and Bug Music, has won a copyright infringement lawsuit against LiveUniverse, Inc. for showcasing lyrics online to songs such as Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind" and Van Morrison's "Moondance." Founded by Brad Greenspan, one of the co-founders of Myspace, LiveUniverse now owes the music publishers $6.6 million. 


LiveUniverse's properties include websites such as lyricsdownload.com, lyricsandsongs.com and completealbumlyrics.com. However, none of the websites are in service. On Tuesday, the music publishers against LiveUniverse won the default judgment from a California federal court awarding them $12,500 for each of the 528 songs' lyrics that LiveUniverse willfully infringed, bringing the total to $6.6 million. 


"One of the principal purposes of our lawsuit was to obtain a large statutory damage award, which would serve as a warning to persuade illegal lyric site operators that it makes good business sense to become licensed and avoid having their site shut down and damages awarded against them," said Ross Charap in a statement, representing the music publishers.


Charles' and Morrison's publishers now possess ownership of the sites and will be compensated as agreed for the infringement.


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(Photo: RB/Redferns)

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