Google Beats Genius In Lyric Scraping Lawsuit
A judge has dismissed lyric site Genius’ lawsuit against Google and lyric provider LyricFind for $50 million for allegedly copying its song lyrics and using then in search results.
Genius claimed that it caught Google by inserting a series of alternating straight and curved apostrophes in the lyrics that it hosts and then finding them verbatim in more than 100 Google search results.
But a federal judge dismissed the case this week in large part because Genius does not “own” the lyrics that it sued to protect.
Calling Genius’s lyric transcriptions derivative works, the judge wrote: “Plaintiff’s breach of contract claims are nothing more than claims seeking to enforce the copyright owners’ exclusive rights to protection from unauthorized reproduction of the lyrics and are therefore preempted.”
“Although Plaintiff describes the rights it seeks to enforce as ‘broader and different than the exclusive right existing under the Copyright Act,’ based on ‘the substantial investment of time and labor by [Plaintiff] in a competitive market,’ and asserts breach of contract claims based on alleged violations of Plaintiff’s Terms of Service, Plaintiff’s own ability to transcribe and display the lyrics on its website arises from the licensing rights Plaintiff has in the lyrics…”