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Earlier this week, music lyrics repository Genius accused Google of lifting lyrics and posting them on its search platform. Genius told the Wall Street Journal that this caused its site traffic to drop. Google, which initially denied wrongdoing but later said it was investigating the issue, addressed the controversy in a blog post today. The company said it will start including attribution to its third-party partners that provide lyrics in its information boxes.
When Google was first approached by the Wall Street Journal, it told the newspaper that the lyrics it displays are licensed by partners and not created by Google. But some of the lyrics (which are displayed in information boxes or cards called “Knowledge Panels” at the top of search results for songs) included Genius’ Morse code-based watermarking system. Genius said that over the past two years it repeatedly contacted Google about the issue. In one letter, sent in April, Genius told Google it was not only breaking the site’s terms of service, but also violating antitrust law—a serious allegation at a time when Google and other big tech companies are facing antitrust investigations by government regulators.
WSJ - Article - Google - Statement - Problem
After the WSJ article was first published, Google released a statement that said it was investigating the problem and would stop working with lyric providers who are “not upholding good practices.”
In today’s blog post, Satyajeet Salgar, a group product manager at Google Search, wrote that the company pays “music publishers for the right to display lyrics, since they manage the rights to these lyrics on behalf of songwriters.”...
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