Genius accuses Google of plagiarising lyrics

The lyrics giant is accusing Google of lifting its transcriptions.

June 17, 2019
Genius accuses Google of plagiarising lyrics Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyric website Genius is accusing tech giant Google of plagiarising lyric transcriptions from its site without permission, as Pitchfork points out. Genius tells the WSJ that “watermarked” lyric sheets are appearing natively in Google searches without attribution.


Genius places a watermark on all its lyrics sheets that consists of a combination of quotation marks that, when converted to Morse code, spell “red handed.” (Nifty, isn’t it?) A representative for Genius says that Google has been lifting lyrics from its site for “the last two years” and that “Google needs to address it.”

Google told the WSJ that the company is investigating Genius’ claims, and offered a statement: “The lyrics displayed in the information boxes on Google Search are licensed from a variety of sources and are not scraped from sites on the web. We take data quality and creator rights very seriously, and hold our licensing partners accountable to the terms of our agreement.”

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Genius accuses Google of plagiarising lyrics