Miley Cyrus wrecking ball 660In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors — voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. This is a guest post by Kasia Campbell, who is taking Entertainment Law and Web 2.0, a miniterm class that’s a requirement for those who wish to join the blog’s Editorial Board.

I thought the song Apologize by One Republic keeps saying: “It’s too late to get a job,” instead of “It’s too late to apologize.”

I thought the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons mentions “ready to rock you,” instead of “radioactive.”

I thought the song Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus refers to, “You raped me,” instead of “You wrecked me.” I mean why else is she swinging naked on a ball?

If you’re like me, blinded by the light and wrapped up like a … well, you’re a search engine devotee if for no other reason because you often find yourself racing to Google, Bing et al to determine the correct lyrics to earworms (those catchy tunes that rattle around our heads all day).

But if you pop up the full words to songs online, are the sites you’re directed to infringing on lyricists’ copyrights, perhaps even in as egregious fashion or more so than if they posted the music or recordings of it?

Depends, says a University of Georgia professor who teaches music business and is studying sites that get licenses or fail to do so before posting lyrics online.

No sooner than did word of the prof’s research splash online did disputes erupt, particularly since one of the sites singled out for its size and popularity, as it took pains to point out, follows copyright procedure and says, as a result, it pays millions to song writers and further licenses other sites that provide lyric information. That post also is worth a peer because it describes industry policing of those who flout copyright laws in putting online the words we all belt, mumble or mangle.

So if you want to support the creative community, straighten up and fly right to sites that follow copyright law when posting lyrics online, or, if you now want to obsess a little about mondegreens, click here, here, or here (just to start) or just listen up: