Google is investigating claims it steals lyrics from Genius

Google defends its practice for showing lyrics in Search, will credit third-party providers

Google to add attribution to licensed lyrics providers

You've got to hand it to the folks at the song lyrics database company Genius - it was pretty clever how the company discovered that Google had been displaying song lyrics lifted right from its site in Search results. Google released a detailed blog post explaining how they source the song lyrics that appear on their page. In 2016, the music website began watermarking certain song lyrics using patterns of apostrophes to spell out the word "Red-handed" when translated in Morse code. "The lyrics that you see in information boxes on Search come directly from lyrics content providers, and they are updated automatically as we receive new lyrics and corrections on a regular basis".

Google added that it will soon include third-party attribution on its digital lyrics text.

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Because "music publishers often don't have digital copies of the lyrics text", Google said, "In these cases, we-like music streaming services and other companies-license the lyrics text from third parties". Google conceded its lyrics feature has been "under scrutiny this week", but said it pays music publishers for the rights to display their lyrics.

While Genius didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, its chief strategy officer Ben Gross told The Verge that there is "irrefutable evidence" that Google has been copying Genius lyrics in its Lyrics OneBox. "While we do this to help you (the user) find that information quickly, we also ensure that the songwriters are paid for their creative work". "Recently, Genius raised the issue again and provided a few examples".

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Lyric website Genius earlier this week shared evidence which it claimed implicates Google in the unauthorized reproduction of song lyrics posted on its site. Despite that, our team is now investigating the content in our database and removing any lyrics that seem to have originated from Genius.

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