We’ve all heard about Bit Torrent sites like the Pirate Bay, Isohunt, Megavideos. One kind of site we haven’t heard much about is lyric sites. These are often large websites with heavy traffic that are text based and advertising supported.
How do you find these sites? One good way is to search for yourself and your song title on Google. Google will helpfully deliver you the top illegal lyric sites so you can move right along. Or you could set up a Google alert for your songs and Google will deliver directly to you the information that they know about already. Nice and neat package.
Let’s take Lyrics007.com for example. This is an illegal site that has the lyrics from 1,000s of songs, allows users to create ringtones for “free” (or so they say, we haven’t clicked on those links because who knows what might happen), and lyrics.com is ad supported.
So search for your song in the search box and see if it comes back. Even if you are not a rock star, you will probably be in the database if you have ever released your lyrics online (like on your own website for example). When you find your songs, you will notice that your song lyric will be surrounded by advertising. In the case of Lyrics007.com, it looks like Google has an exclusive on serving advertising to the site, because advertising for Google Play, Google’s music service that had a hard time launching because the music community believed that Google profits from piracy.
You’ll also see a variety of Google ads (hover over the ad and you will see a web address for the ad which will have the name “google” or “doubleclick” in the URL–Google owns Doublclick thanks to the antitrust authoritites). There will also be ads for “AdChoices” which is also a Google adserving company. These ads are generating revenue for the ad publisher (Lyrics007) and for Google. Presumably also for the advertiser, such as McDonalds, Warped Tour and H2O Festival that we saw.
You can find out who is the registrant of the site by searching the WHOIS database at a registry, such as Network Solutions http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/lyrics007.com:
The site is registered to HICHINA ZHICHENG TECHNOLOGY LTD. In China. But Lyrics007 is in the top 2500 websites in the US according to Alexa.
So what can you do about this? Not much. One thing you can do is take a screen capture of your lyrics and email it to us for the Wall of Shame and we will keep others abreast of what you are finding. Make sure you get the ads included in the screen shot, but be careful what you click on.
We are particularly interested in screen captures of advertising by big brands (like McDonalds below). Email them to us and we will post the best ones!