A couple of days ago, popular lyrics website Genius accused Google of stealing its content and displaying it in search results without permission. The company went as far as to make subtle changes in the lyrics that it posted, which, when encoded to Morse code, spelled out the words "Red handed".
Google has now officially denied allegations that it scrapes content from Genius, explaining how it displays lyrics in search results.
In a new blog post, Google has emphasized that it does not scrape content from third-party websites to display in the Knowledge Panels in search results. Rather, the company pays publishers and partners to obtain the rights to display these lyrics. It went on to say that:
We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics. The lyrics that you see in information boxes on Search come directly from lyrics content providers, and they are updated automatically as we receive new lyrics and corrections on a regular basis.
News reports this week suggested that one of our lyrics content providers is in a dispute with a lyrics site about where their written lyrics come from. We’ve asked our lyrics partner to investigate the issue to ensure that they’re following industry best practices in their approach. We always strive to uphold high standards of conduct for ourselves and from the partners we work with.
While Google has denied any wrongdoing on its behalf, one important change that it will be making from now on is that it'll provide proper attribution to the party which provided the lyrics to avoid problems like these in the future.