From 2014 if you search for song lyrics in Google, it will show you the lyrics directly in a box alongside usual search result. That means you don’t need to go to a third party website to find the lyrics. Now Genius media is accusing Google of stealing its content without permission. Genius said that Google has copied lyrics from their site and showed in the search result without their permission.
The interesting part is that for the first few years of its existence, Genius featured annotated song lyrics on its platform without permission of music publishers. In May 2014, Genius finally made a licensing agreement with music publishers following months of criticism from the National Music Publishers Association trade group.
AS reported by The Wall Street Journal, Genius told Google earlier this year and in 2017 that it knew Google was using Genius’ transcriptions and warned that the action violated antitrust laws and broke the company’s terms of service.
But how did Genius.com catch Google of coping lyrics? Well, according to Genius, they alternate the types of apostrophes it uses—some curly and some straight—in a specific sequence. When these different apostrophes are turned into dots and dashes, they reportedly spell out “red-handed” in Morse code. Genius.com claims that they found these code in lyrics from Google.
In response to this allegation, a spokesperson from Google has said that “We take data quality and creator rights very seriously, and hold our licensing partners accountable to the terms of our agreement. 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.”
We can’t deny the fact that Google is introducing newer ways to give a proper answer to your search queries. But we also can’t ignore the fact that this is also hurting third-party website that is actually producing the content.