Genius Embedded Codes In Lyrics to Prove Google Stole Them


Genius Media Group Inc is an online song lyric provider that has had enough of living in Google‘s shadows. For many years, Genius claims that they have lost a substantial amount of foot traffic due to Google. Google has allegedly been stealing lyrics from and displaying them through its own platform, thus eliminating Genius’ click-throughs.

Genius Using ‘Genius’ Morse Codes

To prove that Google has been ripping content from their hard-earned work, Genius set up secret morse codes embedded into song lyrics. Genius has been around since 2009 as “a platform for annotating clever rap lyrics.” In 2016, Genius took notice of the striking similarities of Google’s lyrics compared to theirs. Genius devised a plan to include morse codes within alternating apostrophes of their song lyrics to spell out “red-handed.” According to WSJ, Genius said it found more than 100 examples of songs on Google that came from Genius’ site.

Source: Genius; Lyrics an excerpt of “Not Today” by Alessia Cara ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

“Over the last two years, we’ve shown Google irrefutable evidence again and again that they are displaying lyrics copied from Genius,” said Ben Gross, Genius’s chief strategy officer, in an email message. 

Via The Wall Street Journal

Google’s Response

Google denies all claims of stealing from Genius, of course. Google apparently forged a partnership with LyricFind, whom they state, secures deals with music publishers that allow Google to publish lyrics online. According to Google, they aim for better user experience by providing information boxes directly on their site versus redirecting them to sites like Genius.

“We take data quality and creator rights very seriously, and hold our licensing partners accountable to the terms of our agreement. We’re investigating this issue with our data partners and if we find that partners are not upholding good practices we’ll end our agreements.”

Google Spokesperson

What Happens Next

This isn’t the first time that Google has disrupted other companies’ business models. For example, Google Maps directly competes with sites like Yelp to provide services directly on Google. In conclusion, there’s no clear answer as to how Genius will resolve this issue yet. Since Genius doesn’t actually own copyright per the song lyrics, legal experts state that any sort of legal battle will be long and cumbersome.