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


While Genius does have sufficient evidence in its lawsuit which has over 1,000 examples of copied lyrics, the company still faces an uphill battle. On Tuesday, December 3, Genius officially filed a lawsuit in ny against Google seeking "no less than $50 million" for "combined minimum damages" from both Google and LyricFind for copying its content.

In June, Google took a conciliatory tone. In addition to monetary damages, Genius is seeking injunctions against Google and LyricFind to bar them from misappropriating its content. 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 says that Google's recent moves caused massive drops, citing a Selena Gomez track that dropped from a 75% clickthrough from Google search to a 5% clickthrough after Google started posting the Genius lyrics directly.

Google says it actually licenses the song lyrics from LyricFind, which relies on multiple sources to pull the text. 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. "We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics", the tech giant said back in June.

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LyricFind also released a statement that day suggesting it may have "unknowingly sourced Genius lyrics from another location".

The complaint further states that Google's behavior not only violates its terms of service agreement but also makes a profit off the "ten years and tens of millions of dollars" that Genius has invested to build its technology and community. "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".

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. "Speaking to Gizmodo back in June, however, Genius' chief strategy officer Ben Gross said, "[Google] have known about this for two years and it's clearly unfair and anticompetitive".