Google stated that the published texts were licensed by partners, but promised to conduct an investigation.
Genius Media Group Inc. announced a decrease in user traffic after Google began to publish their lyrics on its own platform, instead of redirection. This was reported by The Wall Street Journal.
According to the representative of Genius, the company notified Google in 2017 and 2019 that the search engine uses their lyrics. Genius Strategy Director Ben Gross said that to obtain irrefutable evidence, the company used a series of alternating straight and curved apostrophes to form a watermark. Transforming them into Morse code reveals the words “[Gotcha] red-handed.”
Google said that the texts that they publish are licensed by partners, but the company promised to investigate the issue raised by Genius and stop cooperating with those who “do not support best practices.”
In 2016, Google entered into a partnership with LyricFind, a company that allows the search engine to publish lyrics. LyricFind Executive Director Darryl Ballantyne said that they do not receive texts from Genius, but create them on their own.