Lyrics website used clever encoding to catch Google copying its content

Genius is a lyrics website, and it has long suspected that Google has been copying its song lytic transcriptions. Google has denied the accusation. But in 2016 Genius started using combinations of straight and curly apostrophes in its lyrics in such a way as to spell out "red handed" in Morse code. When Google was caught serving "red handed" lyrics it said it would terminate agreements with the licensing partner suspected of lifting the lyrics from Genius.

From The Wall Street Journal:

After this article was published online Sunday, Google issued a second statement to say it was investigating the issue raised by Genius and would terminate its agreements with partners who were “not upholding good practices.”

In 2016, Google forged a partnership with LyricFind, a Canadian company that secures deals with music publishers allowing companies such as Google to publish lyrics online. LyricFind Chief Executive Darryl Ballantyne said in an email that his company creates lyrics using its own content team. “We do not source lyrics from Genius,” he said.

I'll bet LyricFind soon blames a "rogue" employee or contractor for lifting the transcriptions from Genius.

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