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Genius Lawsuit Against Google Over Allegedly Lifted Lyrics Dismissed

In June 2019, lyric annotation site Genius accused Google of lifting its published lyrics without permission. Later that year, Genius sued Google and Canadian lyric sourcing company LyricFind for a minimum of $50 million for allegedly misappropriating content from Genius’ website. Now, the lawsuit has been dismissed, Variety reports.

According to Variety, New York federal judge Judge Margo K. Brodie sided with Google and LyricFind, claiming that since Genius does not own the rights to the original lyrics, the company doesn’t have the legal standing to file the lawsuit. The suit was ultimately dismissed for Genius’ “failure to state a claim,” as Brodie reportedly stated in her ruling.

Genius’ accusations were first revealed in a Wall Street Journal report in June 2019. Genius claimed that it discovered Google’s alleged content misappropriation through its watermark, which the company established sometime around 2016. The watermark makes apostrophes within lyrics alternate between straight and curly single-quote marks (' and ’) in the same sequence for every song. When the two types of apostrophes are converted to dots and dashes, they spell “red handed” in Morse code.