Lyrics site Genius Media has sued Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) for allegedly copying its song lyrics knowingly and using them in search results. The lyrics site also indicates that the practices of Google are anti-competitive. The company is claiming $50 million in compensation.
Genius sues Google for using lyrics with permission
According to the suit, Genuis indicated that Google and lyrics licensing company LyricFind used lyrics from its site for their benefit at the expense of its business. The music site claims in the lawsuits that Google, through LyricFind, used lyrics at the top of search results in the information boxes. They stripped the lyrics from Genius without acknowledgment.
The first time when Genius accused Google of using its content without attribution was in 2017. Genius affirms that the tech giants, through its partner, have continued to use its content from its site with attempts to hide the misappropriations. Genius indicated that after realizing that Google was ripping it off, it paced a digital watermark in the lyrics that spelled out “red-handed” in Morse code.
However, the lawsuit could be tricky since neither Google nor Genius owns the copyrights to the lyrics. They publish. The companies only hold the license to display the song lyrics through artists and music publishers.
Google under probe for violation of antitrust rules
There has been growing criticism on Google that it employs anti-competitive practices. This is in a bid to keep users on its sites instead of redirecting them to sites of content providers. Besides Genius, Yelp has been critical about the conduct of Google, stating that it favors its services at the expense of those of rivals. It indicated that the company stunts traffic to other sites through its information boxes that offer users key information about their search pages.
The anti-competitive practices of Google could become the focus for state and federal investigators investigating the company for possible violation of antitrust regulations. The state attorneys general probing the company are planning to expand the focus of the investigation beyond the original attention on advertising to include search.