Genius Media Sues Google for Allegedly Stealing Lyrics

Genius sues Google for 'no less than $50m', alleging 'anticompetitive practices' over lyrics

Genius Media Sues Google for Allegedly Stealing Lyrics

But Darryl Ballantyne, LyricFind's Chief Executive, denied that his company was sourcing lyrics from Genius. "This action seeks to halt Defendants' unethical and unfair anticompetitive practices, as well as to recover damages for violations of Genius's Terms of Service as a result of defendants' misappropriation". The filing offers a blow-by-blow account of how Genius set about proving that its lyrics were being served up by Google, and what happened after it went public with its claims.

Genius announced earlier this year that it suspected Google of copying its lyrics and serving them up in search engine query results. The lawsuit was filed in Brooklyn, New York, on December 3.

Defendants Google LLC and LyricFind have been caught red-handed misappropriating content from Genius's website, which they have exploited -and continue to exploit- for their own financial benefit and to Genius's financial detriment.

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Along with accusing Google of stealing its lyrics, Genius also alleges that the search engine makes it hard for the public to access organic search results.

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. "We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics", the tech giant said back in June.

LyricFind, on the other hand, noted that their team sources the lyrics from various websites and since those websites also show the same watermarks, it's possible that they "unknowingly sourced Genius lyrics".

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Genius figured out that its lyrics were being lifted, explained the WSJ over the summer, because it inserted a sequence of punctuation into its lyrics that spelled out "Red Handed" when converted to Morse code. "Additionally, Genius is entitled to judgement against Google 'in an amount to be proven at trial for the damages and expenses, but in no event less than $50 million".

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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