Genius Is Suing Google For $50 Million For Allegedly Stealing Lyrics

Google is being sued by Genius, the lyrics website, on the grounds that they have been continuously, and knowingly, copying their lyrics and using them in search results. When someone uses Google to search something pertaining to a song or its lyrics, the lyrics are usually the second visual right after a music video. Earlier this year, Genius made the claim that in some cases, the lyrics that are displayed are being copied from their website.

Of course, most people would wonder how Genius can tell that it’s their rendition of the lyrics since, essentially, it should be the same words across all lyrics website. Apparently, the website uses a watermarking system involving straight and curved apostrophes so they can tell their lyrics apart from others. In June 2019, with this as their support, Genius informed Google that they had broken their terms of service and that they were ultimately violating antitrust law. Google responded that they license their song lyrics from a variety of different sources.

Genius doesn’t have a copyright claim due to the fact that they don’t own the lyrics, however they do hold a license to print the song lyrics. Google also has this license, but how Google got these lyrics is still in question. 

Genius is now suing Google for $50 million in damages. On top of this, Genius is asking for a permanent injunction against another lyrics site, LyricsFind, “prohibiting the continued misappropriation of content from Genius’s website, including the licensing of such content to third parties, such as Google.” 

This will prove to be a difficult, but very interesting case.


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