Look, we were not kind when Genius first accused Google of copying lyrics from its site. The only interesting bit was the cleverness with which Genius figured out Google had copied the lyrics from its site, by sneakily adding in curved or non-curved apostrophes to see if the same ones showed up in Google’s version of the lyrics.
But, as we noted at the time, even if Google copied the lyrics from Genius, that was not a legal matter. After all, Genius did not hold any rights in the lyrics, and its method of “getting” the lyrics was basically having people copy down what they heard (one of the stupid things about copyright and lyrics is that there are no official lyrics most of the time, and every lyric site, even those that “license” lyrics, still have to figure out what those lyrics are, which is just kinda crazy when you think about it). And, more importantly, we had a lawsuit almost exactly on this point years ago, where a phone book company inserted fake entries to capture those who “copied” their phone book, and the court said that you can’t copyright facts, and allowed it to stand.
We were even less kind when Genius stupidly sued Google anyway. And we were not at all surprised when a judge rejected the many, many, many ways in which the company tried to turn this into a legal claim. And so, it’s no surprise that this case ends with a complete whimper as the Supreme Court rejected Genius’ cert petition with no comment.
There’s really not much more to say about this other than whoever decided to bring this case in the first place was no genius, and just wasted a bunch of money on high priced lawyers to bring an exceptionally silly case.
Next time, the company should just put a copy of its planned complaint on Genius for copyright experts to annotate before they bring such a silly lawsuit.
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