Genius sues Google for $50 million over 'stolen' song lyrics

Genius sues Google for $50 million over 'stolen' song lyrics

Google says it actually licenses the song lyrics from LyricFind, which relies on multiple sources to pull the text.

The company's lawsuit "seeks to halt [Google's] unethical and unfair anticompetitive practices".

From October to December a year ago, Genius says it searched its lyrics every day and found clear evidence of copying in 116 of the 301 songs it tested. Genius allegations earlier this year that, in some cases, their lyrics were copied from a website, something that can track via smart watermarking scheme.

Several months later, now Genius says it has proof.

Genius lyrics site sued Google, said the company continues to deliberately copy the lyrics of the song and use them in search results.

Since 2014, Genius has had a deal with music publishers that allows the company to make lyrics available.

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Six months on, the dispute is now a fully-fledged lawsuit, with Genius targeting both Google and LyricFind, claiming that the companies "continue to exploit content misappropriated from Genius's website while apparently attempting to hide that misappropriation".

One report from a media outlet suggests that traffic from Google to Genius has declined since the search company began serving up lyrics directly into the search engine - boxes on the side of listings in Google search results, rather than providing a link to Genius's website.

Fast Company has contacted Google for comment on the lawsuit. "We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics", the tech giant said back in June.

As a result, it conceded that its team may have "unknowingly" taken lyrics from a source that originally copied them from Genius, but that it "offered to remove any lyrics Genius felt had originated from them, even though we did not source them from Genius' site".

It's worth reading the aforementioned court documents to get a full grasp of how this watermark works, but essentially, Genius alternate the apostrophes in their lyric annotations between straight and curly apostrophes (for example, ' and ').

Since its founding in 2009, Genius has maintained a vast archive of annotated music lyrics from artists themselves and its own community of over two million contributors.

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