Music Site Genius Sues Google Over Alleged Lyric Copying

05 Décembre, 2019, 03:22 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Genius sues Google for 'no less than $50m', alleging 'anticompetitive practices' over lyrics

"It is highly unlikely that another source of lyrics would be a character-for-character match-including punctuation, contractions, and line breaks-with lyrics appearing on Genius's website, without having been copied from Genius's website".

In court filing obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Genius explained that it watermarked its lyrics with a series of apostrophes in patterns that spelled out words like "REDHANDED" in Morse code.

Genius lyrics site sued Google, said the company continues to deliberately copy the lyrics of the song and use them in search results. A new Wall Street Journal article published today notes that the new 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".

So, this is not just a lawsuit about whether lyrics have been misappropriated or not: it's also bringing in anti-competition issues ("Genius is placed at an unfair competitive disadvantage in the market for the licensing and display of lyrics...") to spice things up.

Fast Company has contacted Google for comment on the lawsuit. "The lyrics that you see in information boxes on Search come directly from lyrics content providers, and they are updated automatically as we receive new lyrics and corrections on a regular basis".

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It had added that "if we find that partners are not upholding good practices we will end our agreements" while LyricFind had said its team may have "unknowingly sourced Genius lyrics from another location".

Google says it actually licenses the song lyrics from LyricFind, which relies on multiple sources to pull the text. The suit was filed in Brooklyn and Genius is asking for a minimum of $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.

Ben Gross, Genius's Chief Strategy Officer, told the WSJ in the summer: "Over the last two years, we've shown Google irrefutable evidence again and again that they are displaying lyrics copied from Genius".

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