A court battle would mean legal costs of at least $250,000, and it's possible high damages could be awarded if OLGA lost, said Cathal Woods, a philosophy professor at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia, who became OLGA's caretaker in 1994.
So rather than fight, OLGA folded.
At its peak, OLGA drew about 1 million visitors a month in 1998 and 1999, Woods
and the Music Publishers' Association
(MPA) assert U.S. copyright law forbids the distribution of transcriptions or even arrangements that are somewhat similar to the copyright work, making even inaccurate tabs illegal.
It wasn't OLGA's first legal encounter.
In 1996, EMI Music Publishing
complained when OLGA was hosted on servers at the University of Las Vegas
The university gave OLGA the boot.
Faced with moving to a commercial hosting service, OLGA started taking advertising on its site and sold T-shirts to cover costs, Woods
"We've never treated it as an income-generating stream," Woods
But OLGA been widely purloined, Woods
said, and many Web sites have replicated the archives.
charges the publishers have only recently embraced the Internet, and while some new sites have innovative software, it's not enough to satisfy users.
"They've been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century," Woods