First of all, we’d like to apologize again for this weird situation, if we hide the lyrics (and even more), it’s because we have no other choice if we want to respect copyrigths, and that’s what we want.
If we never explained how our lyrics killer works, it’s because it’s a really complex tool, with many filters and rules defined by our lawyer. In short, everything our lyrics killer does has a reason. Unfortunately, this is not (yet) a perfect tool, and a few problems have been reported during the last couple of months. If some were minor issues, some others resulted in unreadable tabs. Our v1.3 should fix all those problems. There might be special cases where tabs still don’t display properly; if you see one, don’t hesitate to report it by contacting us.
Some players ask why do we do this while they can find a lot of tabs with lyrics on guitar sites. Well, the answer is pretty simple : there are countless illegal websites around the web… and UT is not part of them.
Why don’t we pay royalities to publish the lyrics/tabs then ? We’ve got a huge problem here : current copyright system is so outdated that it’s more or less impossible to get wordwide licenses (supposing we could afford them… which is another debate). Why ? Because there are two distinct areas in term of copyrights (let’s keep it simple, it’s a little more complicated than that :p ): America/Canada and the rest of the world. It means that if you’re licensed in the US/Canada, you won’t have the right to publish your licensed tabs in the UK (or anywhere else), unless you pay again. In short: you have to pay twice… interesting situation, right ?
European commissionner for digital agenda Neelie Kroes just said 2 days ago that copyright should protect artists instead of corporations, technology is not something to restrict but to make use of. (Speech : Who feeds the artists?, TF summary : Copyright is Failing). Let’s hope the EU will start do what is necessary to ensure that artists make a decent income, instead of protecting the revenues of major companies.
Little word about why we’ve blocked our tab pages in the UK. As we always say, it’s obviously not because we dont’ like English people or for whatever stupid reason like that, but because the Copyright law is very restrictive there. According to IPWatchlist (which ranks the UK as one of the most hostile country to consumer interests), “UK copyright law is substantially different from that of other countries. It is generally very restrictive.”
(Quick anecdote : In a wrongful action, the UK’s Music Publishers Association convinced registrar to seize domain name.)
In short, if for some reason UT could be infriging the UK law it’s really not what we want. We feel sorry for our members living there, but unfortunately there’s nothing we can do at the moment.
As you know, UT is governed by the French law and our LyricsKiller system is made to fully respect the French copyright law. (UT also respects most of other countries’ CR laws – France is a signatory to the Berne Convention – but the website is closed in countries where national CR laws are too restrictive).