As Sundar Pichai gears up to take the job of Alphabet's CEO, Google, a key subsidiary of the holding company, is facing a lawsuit - for plagiarizing or stealing lyrics from a third-party platform.
The issue first surfaced a few months ago, but now, Genius Media, the platform in question, has decided to take action on the matter.
Here's all about it.
Genius says Google stole its lyrics to show in search
Google has long been displaying song lyrics in search results using its 'knowledge cards'.
The feature is handy and works with the help of the search giant's partnership with lyrics licensing company LyricFind Inc.
However, Genius Media has alleged, in its lawsuit, that LyricFind copied lyrics from its song-annotation platform and then Google displayed the same in its search results.
They claim to have caught Google 'red-handed'
In the lawsuit, first reported by Wall Street Journal, Genius claimed it had caught Google red-handed after growing suspicious of its tactics.
The media company watermarked its content by alternating between straight and curved apostrophes in a pattern that read 'Red Handed' in Morse code.
Notably, Google was found using lyrics with the same hidden code in more than 100 instances, Genius alleged.
And, apparently, Google knew about this for years
Operating since 2009, Genius Media has evolved into a platform for accessing lyrics of different kinds of music, including clever raps, and discussing them.
When the company first revealed the matter in June, it had alleged that Google has been doing this for a while and has not taken any action despite receiving multiple complaints from them since 2017.
"It's clearly unfair and anti-competitive"
"Google knowingly displays lyrics that are copied from Genius in search results in order to keep users from leaving Google to go to other sites," Genius's chief strategy officer, Ben Gross, had said in June, adding that "it's clearly unfair and anti-competitive."
No comment from Google on the matter
Google hasn't commented on the case filed by Genius.
However, back in June, the company had said that its partners source lyrics from third parties when publishers don't share it.
It had added that "if we find that partners are not upholding good practices we will end our agreements" while LyricFind had said its team may have "unknowingly sourced Genius lyrics from another location."