Google wins dismissal of lyric-stealing lawsuit
Google on Monday denied a lawsuit alleging it stole lyrics from Genius Media, a lyrics database operator. The lawsuit alleged that displaying the texts in search results was anti-competitive.
Reports of the suspected text theft surfaced last year, with Genius claiming it could prove that the texts listed in Google search results were his own by looking at the apostrophes. Once the apostrophes are converted to Morse code, they spell “in the act,” according to a lawsuit filed last December.
U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie of New York’s Eastern District dismissed Genius’ lawsuit on Monday, ruling that while Genius is copyrighted, Genius does not own the copyright. These rights remain with the artists who wrote them.
“Plaintiff’s breach of contractual claims is nothing more than claims aimed at enforcing the exclusive rights of copyright owners to protect against unauthorized reproduction of the texts and are therefore excluded,” wrote Brodie when he dismissed Genuis’s complaint, which also commented lyrics and songs contains facts for songs across platforms, including Spotify,and .
The judge goes on to say that the Genius claim is precluded by copyright law and points out that Google made “an unauthorized reproduction of” [Genius’] derivative work that is itself conduct that violates an exclusive right of the copyright owner under federal copyright law. “
Google declined to comment on the layoff. However, a blog post last year suggested that songwriters should be paid for their lyrics by working with music publishers who manage those rights. However, the tech giant added that publishers often do not have texts in digital text copies, so it works with third parties to get access to them.
Genius Media did not immediately respond to a request for comment.