Genius is suing Google for the alleged reason that the tech giant has been continuously, and knowingly, copying their lyrics and using them in search results. When a person uses google to search for anything related to a song or lyrics, the lyrics are usually displayed by the top of the search result. Genius is claiming that the lyrics displayed on Google are being copied from their website.
The question that a person might ponder is how would Genius know that the lyrics are being stolen by Google from their site. The answer is that Genius uses a watermarking system that includes straight and curved apostrophes to indicate that the lyrics belong to them.
During June of 2019, using the watermarking system as their supporting claim, Genius informed Google of their alleged violation of the terms of service and their violation of antitrust law. Google responded claiming that they license their song lyrics and retrieve their lyrics from a variety of sources.
Genius cannot sue using a copyright claim because they don’t own the lyrics, nonetheless they have a license to post the song lyrics. Google has this license as well, but the question is how Google got these lyrics.
Genius is currently suing Google for $50 million in damages. Genius is also asking for a permanent injunction against a lyric site called LyricsFind, “prohibiting the continued misappropriation of content from Genius’s website, including the licensing of such content to third parties, such as Google.”