We reported earlier this week on the US National Music Publisher Association’s campaign against unlicensed lyrics sites, with well-funded startup Rap Genius top of its hitlist. It’s perhaps no coincidence that the company has announced its first licensing deal a few days later, even though Rap Genius says its agreement with Sony/ATV Music was actually signed “earlier this year”. The site also says it’s already in negotiations with other music publishers, and that its relationships with artists “will only grow stronger” as it strikes publishing deals. The self-proclaimed ‘hip-hop Wikipedia’ certainly has Silicon Valley investors in a lather with its plans to expand beyond music to all forms of annotated content. However, news of its Sony/ATV deal is likely to lead to calls from other publishers with their own terms – one likely reason the partnership hadn’t already been announced publicly.

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