from Rock & Rap Confidential/1999

On behalf of Warner/Chappell Music, Polygram Music Publishing, and six other music publishing companies, lawyers for the Harry Fox Agency had police raid the offices of the International Lyrics Server in Zurich, Switzerland, in early January to seize computers and drag ILS personnel in for interrogation. ILS had posted the lyrics to over 100,000 songs on its web site, which received around a million hits a day. Steve Juon, who operates the Original Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive out of Iowa (http://www.OHHLA.com), had this response: "Most major labels already tax the artist for 95% of everything they make, so we donít feel shutting down a lyric site will benefit the artists whatever they may claim. The labels themselves might benefit, if they replace the free public sites with commercial pay-per-access sites, but they wonít turn around and give up the loot to the people who wrote it....as persecuted, taxed, defiled, and defamed as Hip-Hop music and culture already is, the last thing we need is for resources such as OHHLA to be shut down by greedy corporate lawyers."

[from Rock & Rap Confidential/1999]


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