The $50 million lawsuit that Genius filed against Google for plagiarizing the website’s lyrical content has officially been thrown out by a New York judge.
Back in December, we reported on Genius’ lawsuit against Google that claimed the search engine giant plagiarized lyrics unrightfully for its own use — basically, Google was jacking bars from Genius. Unfortunately for the popular song-decoding website, a judge didn’t feel the same way.
Image: Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Variety confirms that a New York judge threw out the lawsuit after determining Genius can’t sue because the site doesn’t own rights to any of the original lyrics featured on their site. The lawsuit, which was seeking $50 million in damages from Google and LyricFind, was dismissed on Monday (August 10) by Judge Margo K. Brodie of the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Here’s a breakdown of how Judge Brodie came to this ruling, via Variety:
Brodie found that Genius’ lyric transcriptions are derivative works of the original lyrics, which are protected under Copyright Law. However, Genius doesn’t have the ability to sue for copyright infringement because “the case law is clear that only the original copyright owner has exclusive rights to authorize derivative works,” she wrote in the decision.
The judge then considered whether under Genius’ state law claims, there was an “extra element” to give it standing to sue Google and LyricFind for breach of contract — and Brodie found there wasn’t.
Genius, which hosts many creative events at their HQ in Brooklyn as seen above with Childish Major back in December, definitely had a point since we know the work it takes to decode some of these rappers. However, we can also understand not being able to claim rights for something you didn’t , well, write! Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments if you have an opinion.