« US Department of Defense releases official policy on social media | Main | Microsoft releases free ebook for the K-12 teacher buyer persona »

March 02, 2010


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference JASRAC wants to charge YOU for tweeting song lyrics! :


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Account Deleted

David, thank god that they didn't catch you on a road humming the song and handed a "royalty payment pending slip" :D
Plain Wrong.

Chuck Smith

Seems like having just a few snippets of a song's lyrics would be considered "fair use" and non-detrimental to the artist. I don't know how it would play out in Japan, but I doubt that it would be considered a violation of the copyright holder's rights in the US.

Of course, I'm not an attorney, and can provide no legal advice (etc. etc.).

Groups like these are doomed to irrelevance, as even the artists don't support them for the most part.

Thanks for letting us know about this, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out about the issue.

Natasha Attal

People just don't understand the need to take part in a "world wide rave" and get their art out in the public as much as possible. As that happens, they WILL make more money. Trying to control everything is just holding them back.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for the comments. I hope we can change some minds over there!

Jake LaCaze

And I thought American record companies were crazy!

Dan Schawbel

Moves like this don't upset me. Companies/people need to learn the hard way sometimes. Hopefully, they invite you to speak to their organization and share some of your case studies.

Doug Brockway

David -

A colleague was fond of the phrase, "no fools, no fun!" Oops! Maybe I owe Spencer a royalty!

I suspect the "fair use" comments made above are valid. As well, I expect JASRAC would have to establish that the tweet was a commercial transaction and not conversational.

Regardless, this is a silly attempt by someone to monetize where they have no rights.


Hoo brother. This makes me want to find out all of those artists governed by JASRACket and start randomly tweeting their lyrics. Wonder if the artists would have a problem with that.

There's gonna be a helluva court battle over this, I bet.

Greg Digneo


Are there music lobbyists in Japan pushing for this? I wonder if Japanese artists are actually on board with this idea.

It seems like one of those things that looks good on paper, but in the long term will wind up costing people a lot of money.

They are effectively going to eliminate the smaller bands who rely solely on web tools to expose their fans to their music.


What an interesting idea!

All Steve Jobs has to do now is write and publish music in Japan that has his product names and key innovations in them, and now nobody can tweet about him!

Jamie Favreau

It is human nature to post song lyrics. You get a song in your head and you want to share it or figure out what he heck it is. To charge the person posting it is bad. I mean why?

I know the artists need some revenue but charging the consumer for stating something about a song is ridiculous.

I know I post songs on FB and Twitter if they are in my head. I also work in the arena so sometimes I post the name of a song of which is going on during the performance. So are we going to get charged for every time we mention something?

This is bad.

Paul Anthony Kelly

leave if to them wacky Japanese to come up with something crazy. Hey I love me some good 'ol Mazinger or Ninja Warrior. Those are great ideas. This one??? Nah...

Ralph Leon

This is just ridiculous, its not like its even the whole song, its probably just a few lines of lyrics. This is just crazy. If anything post song lyrics helps generate business for the artist. It is sort of a grass roots word of mouth campaign. I think in the end this will potentially hurt artists. Next thing you know were gonna be charged for singing a song...

David Meerman Scott

Thanks to all for jumping in.

I wish that a rep from JASRAC would jump in.


So in theory if I did in fact stay at a YMCA and I tweeted. 'It's fun to stay at the YMCA' I'd be charged for it? Insanity!

Antonio Marsillo, LoudTrax.com

this is just another example of the how recording industry does not listen to their fans. Music has never been more popular and more in demand, and not just mainstream, but all genres of music.

Instead of the industry understanding and making music available the way fans want it, they try and fight the fans.

hope this does not carry over to other sites, countries, etc...

Steve McClure

Since Twitter users are not (presumably) tweeting lyrics for commercial gain, quoting lyrics in tweets would seem to come under the category of Fair Use. Unfortunately, there is no such category in Japan's Copyright Law, in which the "moral right" of the rights-holder is paramount. The only rationale that I can see for JASRAC charging Twitter for dissemination of song lyrics would be if Twitter were collecting advertising or other revenue on the strength of how many users it has. That said, there is a strong commonsense argument against charging copyright fees when lyrics are tweeted, in that tweets comprise a mere 140 characters, which means only a small part of a given song's lyrics could be quoted. One exception is, of course, the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird," a surf-music classic of Beckettian minimalism: http://www.rockabilly.nl/lyrics4/s0130.htm

John Beckley

You've hit the nail on the head by saying JASRAC aren't representing the artists interests, just their own.

This is how New Rules Marketing works. Having freedom to communicate.

David Meerman Scott

John, Antonio, John -- yes strange indeed!

Thanks Steve for your perspective. Gang, Steve McClure has been in Japan for a long time. He is the former bureau chief for Billboard and is now Executive Editor, McClure’s Asia Music News

Chris @ The Basement Entrepreneur

This is excellent brand marketing for them! Where do I Paypal my money, JASRAC? I tried to send it to jasrac.LOL [at] yahoo.co.jp but it didn't work.

Hey, why stop there? They need to set up revenue trackers on Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious, and Reddit.


I agree with this Japanese society. JASRAC say that they want people to understand that the Internets is not a private forum and that Twitter is just like a blog or site where publishing lyrics is illegal. Would not be surprised if they go after folks who upload videos of themselves singing. Although they do require Karaoke parlors to pay a fee for the music being played to their customers.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

follow me

David Meerman Scott books

I want to speak at your next event!


David Meerman Scott e-books

David's iPhone and iPad apps

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2004