The controversy between Genius and Google is back. As it did in 2017, the online platform where you can find and annotate the lyrics of thousands of songs, again accuses Google of showing them in its search engine without linking them correctly.
Genius complains that Google’s practice takes away traffic and, consequently, advertising revenue. “In the last two years, we’ve shown Google irrefutable proof again and again that they’re showing letters copied from Genius,” said Ben Gross, Genius strategy director, in an e-mail sent to The Wall Street Journal.
More than 60% of mobile searches just end and don’t click on something else (Google).
Is that a sign of success of the mobile web or the end of mobile web?
— Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) 16 de junio de 2019
The novelty in this case is Genius’ way of knowing that Google has stolen the letters from his platform. He has done it using a set of steganographic techniques to hide a watermark in the form of a message hidden in Morse code, in which you can read red handed.
Amazing video. Google was scraping Genius’ content and showing it to users without sending them to Genius. Google denied it. Genius proved it by embedding a hidden message in the apostrophes of their text. Applied steganography for plagiarism detection!https://t.co/mu1oqE2mO6
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) 16 de junio de 2019
For its part, Google has denied the misuse of the letters and has told The Wall Street Journal that it “takes copyright very seriously” and has held its partners accountable. “We are investigating this problem with our partners and if we discover that they do not respect good practices we will put an end to our agreements,” they say. Genius claims that Google has violated antitrust law and its own terms of service, although it has not yet announced any legal actions.