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I have developed a program that scans your media folder, finds the lyrics of each song online and saves them.

To do this, my program manages to find the website where the lyrics is posted (I use several websites),extracts it and saves it. In a particular case it happened that (after too many fast requests) one website banned me for about 6 months.

Now my question is: is the program illegal? I know that websites have "Terms of Service" written in such a way that they can ban anyone for pretty much any reason, so if they don't want me to do that they could probably ban me. But from a legal point of view, is it illegal?

Some more information:

  • Lyrics are not taken from the original website of the author of the song, hence it's not clear that this websites can claim copyright on the material
  • The lyrics are only saved locally and not published anywhere else
  • Right now the program is still only on my pc and no one else used it.
  • Some of these sites are located in the US, I'm from Europe

What do you think?

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The program itself is probably not illegal - although as you point out, it may breach the terms of service of providers you are using. If you distribute the lyrics, you may be breaching copyright (regardless of whether the lyrics were from the original author or elsewhere - sites can claim copyright of material they create/ whose form they fix).

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