- A federal judge has dismissed Geniusâ€™ lawsuit over claims Google was scraping song lyrics.
- Genius was supposedly just trying to enforce someone elseâ€™s copyright law, not its own claims.
- The court also tossed out allegations of unfair competition.
Genius has lost its bid to sue Google for allegedly scraping song lyrics.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that New York federal judge Margo Brodie dismissed Geniusâ€™ claims against Google in a ruling on August 10. Brodie determined that Genius was overstepping its limits by launching copyright claims it didnâ€™t have the authority to make.
Geniusâ€™ breach of contract claims were just attempts to â€œenforce the copyright holdersâ€™ exclusive rightsâ€� against unauthorized copying, the judge said. It only controlled â€œderivative works,â€� and the copyrights in this case ultimately belonged to the musicians. Precedent required that Genius show there was an â€œextra elementâ€� (such as contractual requirements) for a state claim to survive, and Genius reportedly couldnâ€™t show this.
Brodie also tossed out Geniusâ€™ unfair competition claim, noting that the lyrics provider hadnâ€™t accused Google of violating any duty or â€œconfidential relationship.â€�
The judge also rejected Geniusâ€™ move to have the case returned to a state court, effectively shutting down the lawsuit.
Itâ€™s not certain what Genius will do next. Android Authority has asked Genius and Google for comment.
Genius claimed to have â€œirrefutableâ€� evidence of Google scraping lyrics for its own purposes, pointing to a special pattern of apostrophes used to catch thieves. There were over 100 examples, Genius said. Google denied the accusations, noting that it got lyrics from partners. If there was any copying going on, Google argued, those third parties were to blame.
The decision ends uncertainty over Googleâ€™s lyrics, at least for now. You can search for the verses from a favorite song and still expect to find them as you have before. Not that Google can rest at the moment. Itâ€™s still facing close scrutiny from Congress and other government bodies, including claims it tried to sink Yelp by stealing content. This is one victory in a war itâ€™s not guaranteed to win.