Genius Is Accusing Google Of Stealing Lyrics Published On Its Site

In a new report from the Wall Street Journal, representatives from Genius have claimed that Google have used "watermarked" lyrics in their search results, meaning that they were directly lifted from the site. Now anyone willing to steal your texts only has to run a script that replaces all cursive apostrophes with straight ones - exactly what Google appears to have done since the accusation as WSJ's example lyrics (Google version and version) now have only straight apostrophes in the search results. When converted to morse code, the pattern spells "red handed". In a followup letter sent in April, Genius said that using lyrics taken from the platform violates both the company's terms of service and antitrust law more generally.

"Over the last two years, we've shown Google irrefutable evidence again and again that they are displaying lyrics copied from Genius in their Lyrics OneBox", Genius' Chief Strategy Officer Ben Gross explained.

Google, on the other hand, denies stealing any lyrics. In 2016, Genius made a few changes to the punctuation in its song lyrics.

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Genius Media, a US-based digital media company that specialises in song lyrics, has accused Google of copying their work to display in its Search results for years without permission and has asked the search-engine giant to address the situation. Genius was later able to reach a licensing agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing which allowed the company to republish material owned by Sony. "We're investigating this issue with our data partners and if we find that partners are not upholding good practices we will end our agreements". The company claims the lyrics displayed in the Google search results are sourced from licensed partners. Panda had hard-to-understand lyrics and many other sites got the words wrong with the exception of Genius because Desiigner himself provided the lyrics transcript to the site.

This isn't the first time that Google has been caught in the crosshairs for similar offenses. Of course, this is just a guess and maybe Google was stealing from Genius directly or maybe something else is going on? Genius itself does not hold any lyrics copyrights so any legal argument, if taken to court, might stand to be considerably weaker.

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