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Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash Credit: Wesley Tingey

Back in 2019, lyrics site Genius sued Google and LyricFind, alleging that they had copied and pasted its lyrics to use in Google’s ‘OneBox’ search results.

Despite the inventiveness of the detective work used to unearth this – Genius alternated straight and curved apostrophes in lyrics to spell out ‘red handed’ in Morse code to see if this would then show up on Google – the ensuing legal battle has gone Google’s way.

In 2020 a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit noting that Genius wasn’t the copyright owner of the lyrics themselves. Then in 2022 a three-judge panel confirmed that ruling after Genius appealed.

Now the US Supreme Court has declined Genius’s attempt to bring back the lawsuit, now with a focus on breach of contract and violating its terms of service.

This may finally put paid to the case, with Google’s spokesperson reiterating to Reuters that “we license lyrics on Google Search from third parties, and we do not crawl or scrape websites to source lyrics”.

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