Just noticed you're talking about John Foxx (not Ultravox) lyrics. If JF solo, in theory he owns them - but again, that depends on who they are published with at the time. John usually has a deal whereby the music reverts to his ownership after 'x' years, but if he signs another publishing deal then it belongs to that company for another 'x' years.
Probably your best bet is to email John direct, either via our 'email the band' page, or via Metamatic's.
In terms of trouble with the law, yes, the original (infamous) lyrics.ch server got shut down a few years ago. If I recall correctly, the guy was raided and fined rather a lot of dosh. For a while it became an 'official' lyrics server, with little scrolling java applets that meant you couldn't copy the text in any way. Looks like that has changed now, so I guess it wasn't a success (I certainly stopped going there).
Don't know if this helps at all, but it's copied from SoundXchange.com
The Copyright Act recognizes various categories of works that are protected by copyright law. The two categories that are relevant to an understanding of recorded music are "musical works" and "sound recordings." The term "musical work" refers to the underlying musical composition, comprised of the written notes and lyrics. The term "sound recording" refers to the actual recording itself - the sounds, including the recording artist's interpretation of the musical composition, and the creative efforts of the producer, sound engineers and background musicians. The sound recording brings to life the written notes and lyrics of the musical work. All musical recordings consist of both a musical work and a sound recording, each of which is protected by copyright law, unless the copyright term has expired and one or both copyrighted works has entered the public domain. In certain cases, particularly with classical music, the sound recording (which was produced relatively recently) may be protected by copyright law even though the musical work (which was composed hundreds of years ago) has entered the public domain. Where both the musical work and the sound recording remain protected by copyright law, a third party wishing to make use of a sound recording must obtain two sets of permissions - one from the owner of the musical work and one from the owner of the sound recording.
Every musical recording embodies two distinct copyrighted works. The first is the underlying musical composition, comprised of the written notes and lyrics (for purposes of copyright law, the musical composition is referred to as a "musical work"). The copyright in the musical work is usually owned by the songwriter and/or his or her music publisher. The second copyrighted work is the actual recording itself - the sounds, including the recording artist’s interpretation of the musical composition, and the creative efforts of the producer, sound engineers and background musicians. (This is referred to in copyright law as a "sound recording.") The copyrighted recording brings to life the written notes and lyrics of the musical work. The copyright in the sound recording is typically owned by a record label.
The two copyrighted works described above are subject to a variety of separate rights (e.g., reproduction, distribution, performance), each of which must be licensed separately and must be licensed from separate entities.
Does that help?