I am working on a language learning startup. I think that one of the best ways to study is through music. For that purpose I would like to include MP3s on the website, together with related study tools such as appropriate lyrics. Because I want to avoid dead links I would like to host the MP3s directly on my server and stream them to the users.

Doing this isn't exactly legal since everyone could download the MP3s. But what if, before accessing a specific song, I displayed a message asking "Do you legally own this song in CD/MP3/... format?" and only if the user clicks "yes" he is allowed to continue and listen. Isn't this how, for example, YouTube gets around legal problems?

3 Answers 3


You'll definitely hung in a lot of ​​problems in this way. The "disclaimer" you thought, isn't enough to safe you from legal action by the majors (and not only) because your website will be seen as a space where illegale MP3 downloads not only are allowed but encouraged (more or less the same situation for some eMule server). Thus, I strongly encourage you to don't upload MP3s on your website.

  • You are probably right, thanks for the answer. I guess I'll need to find other ways : ) Nov 25, 2011 at 6:43

YouTube doesn't get around the legal concerns. After a bunch of lawsuits, they eventually had a to implement a system, called Content ID, that scans all uploaded media against copyright holder-supplied reference materials to check if they should block it automatically.


You could embed YouTube videos that have lyrics in them. Those that are run under VEVO or otherwise authorized by the artists themselves are unlikely to be pulled.

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