Yahoo has partnered with Gracenote, a provider of CD and digital track identification services, to give users free access to the lyrics of hundreds of thousands of songs from the five major music publishers, according to Gracenote spokeswoman Stephanie Steinwinder.
The lyrics from 400,000 songs from the catalogues of BMG Music, Peermusic, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music and Famous will be incorporated into Yahoo Music through Gracenote's database, she said.
The lyrics found on websites are unlicensed and unauthorised versions of lyrics that do not pay royalties back to the songwriters, according to Gracenote, which spent more than two years working with music publishers to understand lyric copyright issues, develop data standards and determine royalty payment requirements resulting from commercial use.
In addition, the lyrics on these sites generally contain incomplete and inaccurate content, Steinwinder said.
Through the agreement, consumers can search for song lyrics from the Yahoo Music search bar by entering part of a lyric from the song, according to a Yahoo statement.
"You mean Bob Dylan isn't actually saying 'The ants, my friend, are in a bowling pin?'" asks Ian Rogers, general manager of Yahoo Music. "Finally, a free, legal and definitive way to settle a bet with the guy sitting next to you at the bar who is certain the Ramones' most famous anthem declares, "I wanna piece of bacon.'"
According to the statement, consumers can find song lyrics in Yahoo Music through the Music Search box, the Artist section tab and the Yahoo Music Top Songs.