Genius/Google Dispute Gets Even Dumber: Microsoft And Amazon Show Same 'Coded' Lyrics, But Genius Doesn't Care

from the oh-for-fuck's-sake dept

On Tuesday we did a deep dive into the whole kerfuffle over Genius claiming that Google was “scraping” its lyrics and explained why the whole story was a huge nothingburger. There are lots of reasons to be worried about Google, but this was not one of them. Among the many, many points in the article, we noted that Google had properly licensed the lyrics, that LyricFind admitted that it was the one responsible, that most publishers don’t even know the lyrics they’re licensing in the first place, and that basically everyone just copies them from everyone else. And, now, just to put a fine point on how this entire story in the Wall Street Journal (which has published multiple anti-Google editorials over the past few years) was concocted just to attack Google over something it hadn’t done, a Wired article analyzing the situation notes that Microsoft’s Bing and Amazon Music also display the identical lyrics that appear to have the “coded” or “watermarked” apostrophes that Genius put in place:

One thing that some news stories have missed about Genius? allegations is that Google is far from alone in surfacing lyrics that may have originated from Genius. Microsoft Bing and Amazon Music also appear to have Genius-watermarked lyrics.

And Genius’ response to this further evidence that it’s not Google doing anything particularly nefarious?

Genius would not comment on other sites? apparent use of its transcripts.

In other words “hey, don’t mess with our narrative that big bad Google is the problem…”

Again, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about Google — and we’ve covered many of them over the years. But a totally misleading and ginned up story that does not accurately portray the situation or the law is not helping anything but the outrage machine.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: amazon, genius, lyricfind, microsoft

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Comments on “Genius/Google Dispute Gets Even Dumber: Microsoft And Amazon Show Same 'Coded' Lyrics, But Genius Doesn't Care”

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Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Not for nothin’, Rupert Murdoch bought the WSJ in 2007. It’s no longer part of the same company as Fox News (they split off into News Corp and 21st Century Fox, respectively, in 2013), but there’s pretty significant overlap in ownership and management.

The WSJ was a pretty conservative paper before the Murdoch purchase, but while its editorial pages tended to go pretty far off the deep end, at least its news section was pretty reliable in those days.

K`Tetch (profile) says:

Maybe a licensee

For all we know, Bing and Amazon are licensing from Genius, and the contract includes a non-disclosure agreement (or at least a ‘clients choice to reveal, you don’t advertise our contract’ clause). Or it could be part of a settlement from another past issue, we just don’t know.

I’d still keep the watermark, just to see if someone not a licensee is scraping them, even from those who are licensed.

All we have are a set of public facing circumstances that APPEAR the same, nothing more, and we won’t know any more unless one of the parties involved tell us more; anything else is just blind speculation.

That One Guy (profile) says:

So the WSJ puts out a Google hit-piece that just got undermined, and now Genius going from crying for blood to mute when it surfaces that other companies are showing the same ‘watermarked’ lyrics, suggesting pretty strongly that the problem is the source that Google, Amazon and Microsoft got the lyrics from…

Nice of them to highlight their real motives here, nice and clear. One wants to attack a company they don’t like and facts be damned, another wants some ‘Go Away’ money and figures making a big stink over it will do the trick.

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