Lyrics Site Accuses Google of Lifting Its Content

Robert McMillan, writing in The Wall Street Journal, has an interesting story about theft.

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. The company said it used a watermarking system in its lyrics that embedded patterns in the formatting of apostrophes. Genius said it found more than 100 examples of songs on Google that came from its site.

Starting around 2016, Genius said, the company made a subtle change to some of the songs on its website, alternating the lyrics’ apostrophes between straight and curly single-quote marks in exactly the same sequence for every song.

When the two types of apostrophes were converted to the dots and dashes used in Morse code, they spelled out the words Red Handed.”

Being a writer, I hate when I copy and paste something over and the quote marks are all messed up. I try my damndest to fix that and make them consistent. The whole idea of putting some sort of watermark” to catch these types of thefts is nothing new. Learn more by reading the fictitious entry section on Wikipedia.

June 17, 2019

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