Earlier this week, Genius accused Google of stealing lyrics straight from its site. Genius says it caught Google after it put unique patterns in lyrics by alternating the font of apostrophes between curly and straight. When converted to Morse code, those sequences spelled out “red handed.”
Now, Google has responded to Genius’ claims with a blog post by Satyajeet Salgar, the company’s Group Product Manager for Search. The post says that Google gets all of its lyrics from third-party providers.
“Here’s something you might not know: music publishers often don’t have digital copies of the lyrics text. In these cases, we—like music streaming services and other companies—license the lyrics text from third parties. We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics. 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.”
Salgar went on to say that Google asked its lyric partners to “investigate the issue to ensure that they’re following industry best practices in their approach.” In addition, Google will now publicly cite the lyric providers it uses to find song lyrics.
Although Google didn’t name them directly, the company works with LyricFind, as reported by The Verge. The lyric provider entered into a partnership with Google in 2016, which is also the same year Genius began to expect that Google was lifting its lyrics.
In a statement to The Verge, a Google spokesperson also confirmed that the company would began “investigating this issue with our data partners and if we find that partners are not upholding good practices we will end our agreements.”
With this response, Google is essentially trying to release itself of any responsibility in regards to the alleged theft. However, LyricFind isn’t taking any responsibility either after they denied stealing lyrics from Genius as well.