Google accused of stealing from lyrics site

Science

17 Jun 2019

Google accused of stealing from lyrics site: Details here

These days, looking up lyrics has become as easy as a Google search.

You just have to enter the song's name and a dedicated 'knowledge card' showing complete wordings appears on the results page.

The feature is extremely handy, but Genius Media, a site specializing in lyrics, claims that the search giant has been stealing its content for these cards.

Here's what they say.

Accusation

Genius Media claims Google copied its lyrics for years

Genius Media claims Google copied its lyrics 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.

However, now, the company has accused Google of copying its uniquely watermarked lyrics to its knowledge cards.

It says Google has been doing this for a while and has not taken action despite receiving multiple complaints from them since 2017.

Evidence

How they know Google copied lyrics

While song lyrics are similar, Genius alternated between straight and curved apostrophes as a way to watermark their content.

These patterns, when converted into Morse code, revealed the word 'Red Handed'.

And, surprisingly enough, Google was also found to be using the same apostrophe pattern in more than 100 instances of knowledge card-based lyrics, the company alleged.

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Response

Here's what Google said on the matter

In response to the issue, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Google held LyricFind Inc., its partner for sourcing lyrics, accountable.

The company said it takes "data quality and creator rights very seriously and hold our licensing partners accountable to the terms of our agreement."

However, LyricFind denied sourcing content from Genius Media's platform.

Action

Case still being investigated

Case still being investigated

Having said that, it is worth noting that the search giant has added that it is investigating the matter and will take action if any of its data partners were found to be scraping content.

A company spokesperson claimed they source information from a variety of sources, and "if we find that partners are not upholding good practices we will end our agreements."

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