Lyrics website Genius.com accuses Google of lifting its content

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Jun 17 2019
Lyrics website Genius.com accuses Google of lifting its content
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Genius.com used morse code to catch Google "Red Handed"

The Wall Street Journal has corroborated the accusations, matching randomly selected songs from the list of a hundred.

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Lyrics website Genius.com has accused Google of lifting its lyrics and displaying them when users search for the content. According to The Wall Street Journal, traffic for Genius’ website has dropped. About 62 per cent of mobile searches for lyrics on Google did not result in a click-through to another site. This data is for March 2019. 

While Google posting results for lyrics isn't a crime, Genius claims that they have caught the search engine lifting their content “Red Handed”. Starting from 2016, the lyrics website Genius positioned “straight” and “curly” apostrophes in their lyrics. When these are converted to dots and dashes in Morse code, they spell out the words “Red Handed”. Genius claims that they have found over 100 instances where Google used their lyrics in search results.

“Over the last two years, we’ve shown Google irrefutable evidence again and again that they are displaying lyrics copied from Genius. We noticed that Google’s lyrics matched our lyrics down to the character,” Ben Gross, Chief Strategy Officer, Genius told the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal randomly chose songs from the claimed list of 100 and corroborated Genius’ claim. The songs include - Alessia Cara’s “Not Today” and  Desiigner’s “Panda”. 

Google, on the other hand, has denied the accusations. Google has partnered with LyricFind, which provides Google with lyrics of songs for search results. “We do not source lyrics from Genius,” LyricFind Chief Executive Darryl Ballantyne said to WSJ.

There is an old saying by artist Pablo Picasso, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” This saying was all the rage during the rise of Apple and Microsoft. Apple stole the “mouse” from Xerox and Windows stole the OS from Apple. In those days, these acts of lifting resulted in the creation of million dollar companies. It's difficult to say who is to blame in this Google vs Genius.com fight. These things are mostlty settled behind closed doors, especially when mammoth companies like Google are involved.   

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