Published: Thu, December 05, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Genius sues Google and LyricFind for $50 million for copying

Genius sues Google and LyricFind for $50 million for copying

LyricFind also pointed out that "Genius themselves have no ownership of the lyric rights - music publishers and songwriters do". Still, Genius's lawsuit will try to argue that both Google and LyricFind violated Genius.com's terms of service by copying the lyrics, which entitles the music site to seek damages. After the Wall Street Journal published an article that suggested Google were taking lyrics from the website, the company are now seeking legal action. Genius are claiming that traffic to their website has dropped because their lyrics are being published by Google who have the power to prioritise the search results.

Today, the WSJ reports that the new Genius lawsuit "puts the spotlight on growing concerns that big tech companies like Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., can stifle smaller competitors through some of their business practices". Recently, Genius raised the issue again and provided a few examples.

Genius lyrics site sued Google, said the company continues to deliberately copy the lyrics of the song and use them in search results. The lyrics information box on Google for the "Panda" song by Desiigner, was the first one that led to Genius suspecting that lyrics from its website had been misappropriated.

This summer, lyrics aggregator Genius discovered its content was being copied by Google and its Canada-based lyrics partner LyricFind, after spelling "Red Handed" in Morse code through a sequence of punctuation in its posts. LyricFind also chose to remove lyrics that Genius accused them of copying while insisting that the lyrics weren't sourced from Genius' site.

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Nevertheless, Genius 's lawsuit is also demanding LyricFind pay no less than $50 million in damages.

Founded in 2009, Genius has developed and maintains repository of annotated music lyrics, some of which are provided by artists and many of which are transcribed and edited by a community of over 2 million contributors.

"Google knowingly displays lyrics that are copied from Genius in search results in order to keep users from leaving Google to go to other sites", Genius's chief strategy officer, Ben Gross, had said in June, adding that "it's clearly unfair and anti-competitive".

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