In the last couple of years, if you type a song title into Google, you will get a box that includes the lyrics, along with the usual search results. It’s a useful tool, but a company that specializes in song lyrics, Genius Media, says Google has been copying its lyrics for years for its search results.
Genius has been around since 2009, describing itself as a “platform for scoring rap lyrics for rapids,” and has since expanded to other types of music, and a place for music fans to comment and discuss. your favorite songs. Genius Media says Google has been copying its lyrics, according to The Wall Street Journal. The site says it has filed its complaint with the search giant for years.
In a statement to The edgeGenius Chief Strategy Officer Ben Gross said the company “has shown Google irrefutable evidence over and over again that they are showing copied Genius lyrics in their OneBox Lyrics. This is a serious problem, and Google needs to fix it.”
The site employed a neat trick to find out if your lyrics are being copied and republished: It uses a series of alternating straight and curved apostrophes in the letters it hosts to form a type of watermark. Converting the patterns into Morse code reveals the words “Red Handed”. We reached out to Google for comment, but the company told WSJ that it licenses content from a third party, LyricFind Inc., and takes “data quality.” and the rights of creators are very serious and we hold our licensing partners responsible for the terms of our agreement. ” LyricFind denied taking Genius’s lyrics.
In a statement to The edge, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the information in the search results is licensed from multiple sources and says the company is “investigating this issue with our data partners and if we find that the partners are not upholding good practice, we will terminate our agreements. “.
The complaint comes as the US Department of Justice is reportedly planning to launch an antitrust investigation against Google for its business practices, and politicians have started calling for the dissolution of the biggest tech companies.
Updated June 16 at 5:30 PM ET: Updated with a statement from Google.