In an interesting turn of events, music site Genius media filed a lawsuit against Google alleging that the search giant copied lyrics from its platform. The lawsuit comes five months after it accused Google of publishing lifted song lyrics.
In the lawsuit, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Genius states that Canadian lyric licensing company LyricsFind pulled lyrics from Genuis’ pages and displayed at the top of Google search results in its “Information Boxes”. Now it seeks $50 million in combined minimum damages from Google and LyricsFind.
The incident puts a spotlight in bigger tech companies like Google which can strife smaller business competitors through some of their business practices. The Justice Department and Federal State Commission have started investing some of these tech companies. Previously, TripAdvisor Inc, have accused the search engine of unfairly using its content in search results.
Genius said its traffic to its site, where it posts hard-to-decipher lyrics decreased after Google began publishing lyrics in its own platform. The Brooklyn based company alleged that some of the lyrics were directly lifted from its music website. Though Genius holds no copyright claims on the lyrics, it says lifting lyrics from its site violates its terms of service.
“Google knowingly displays lyrics that are copied from Genius in search results in order to keep users from leaving Google to go to other sites,” Genius’s Chief Strategy Officer Ben Gross told Gizmodo in June. “They have known about this for two years and it’s clearly unfair and anti-competitive.”
Responding to the lawsuit, a Google spokesperson referred to a blog post published on the day the allegations of copying were made. The post states that when publishers don’t provide digital copies of lyrics, Google licenses the text from third parties. “We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics,” the blog reads. LyricFind released a statement suggesting it may have “unknowingly sourced Genius lyrics from another location.”
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