On Tuesday, Google protested a lawsuit over alleged lyrics cutting from Genius, a lyrics and comment site. A federal judge in New York’s Eastern District found that although the tapping claims were credible, the scraping did not constitute piracy and as a result the lawsuit was dismissed. .
Genius alleged in December 2019 that Google raised its lyrics. This attempt was demonstrated by sneaking an intelligent text watermark into Genius lyrics entries, in one case using a series of single quotes to spell out the word “red-hand” in the code. Morse. The watermark later appeared in relevant Google searches with no link or author attribution to Genius.
Earlier that year, Google published a blog post claiming that the company did not “crawl or scan web pages to source these lyrics. Instead, the company argued through its blog post that the lyrics people see through the info box “come directly from lyrics content providers, and they̵7;re automatically updated. when we receive new lyrics and edit them regularly. “
Judge Margo Brodie argued that despite Genius’s claims, the website is not the actual copyright owner, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Even though Genius users collected the lyrics, the lyrics themselves still belong to the musicians who wrote them. Although Genius effectively licenses the lyrics, adding them through derivative works (e.g. captions) does not give Genius the necessary ownership over the actual lyrics itself. .
“[The] a breach of contract statement is nothing more than a statement seeking to exercise the exclusive rights of the copyright owner to protect against unauthorized copying of the lyrics, ”Brodie wrote in the dismissal.
Brodie continued that breach of the contract argument is also referred to as the Copyright Act, noting that it is “a claim.
However, Genius is not the first site to accuse Google of retrieving its data for Google pages. Yelp has long accused Google of stealing their content in searches – something that was raised during a recent antitrust hearing attended by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Yelp had previously argued that Google took clicks from its website away for its own feed. During the hearing, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) asked Pichai if he believed it was anti-competitive behavior.
“When I run the company, I’m really focused on giving users what they want,” Pichai replied, avoiding the question. “We conduct ourselves to the highest standards.”