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Rap Genius signs Warner/Chappell deal

Logo of Rap Genius, an online lyrics site
Logo of Rap Genius, an online lyrics site
Rap Genius

Rap Genius has signed a licensing deal with Warner/Chappell.

"Warner/Chappell's songwriters are unbelievably popular and we will help them connect with their most obsessed fans. Warner/ Chappell music goes back more than 200 years -- we think that this partnership will last at least another 200." said Rap Genius co-founder Ilan Zechory.

Artists on Warner/Chappell's roster include Green Day, Bruno Mars, Aretha Franklin, and Eric Clapton.

The online lyrics site also signed deals with music publishers Sony/ATV and Universal Music after being rated 'the worst offender' in illegal lyric publishing by the NMPA last November. The online site encourages users to annotate and add meaning to the lyrics of their favorite musicians.

"The lyric sites the NMPA refers to simply song lyrics, while Rap Genius has crowdsourced annotations that give context to all the lyrics line by line, and tens of thousands of verified annotations directly from writers and performers. These layers of context and meaning transform a static , flat lyric page into an interactive, vibrant art experience created by a community of volunteer scholars," Zechory wrote in an email regarding the NMPA ranking.

In 2013, the startup was banned from Google after it was caught using SEO tricks to obtain top rankings.

Rap Genius was founded in 2009 by Yale graduates Zechory and Tom Lehman with Stanford Law Grad Mahbod Moghadom. Moghadom was fired last May after posting an inappropriate annotation of the 2014 Isla Vista killings.