GOOGLE HAS officially responded to being rumbled for scraping song lyrics from website Genius.com.
After being caught red-handed by Genius.com after it hid morse code within lyrics to prove the search giant was "stealing" data, the company has said that it will definitely credit Genius from now on - but denies "scraping" to fuel its searches.
"We do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics," Big G said. "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."
Instead, it passed the buck neatly on to its lyrics provider, LyricFind, explaining that it gets all its data from them if they can't get them direct from the record company, adding that where LyricFind gets its data from is a different matter.
Although it washes Google's hands quite nicely like so many tax-evasion techniques, it actually makes the situation murkier. Who is in the right? Who is in the wrong? Should Genius be complaining given they don't actually own the lyrics? How does Google "ensure" the artist gets paid if the lyrics come from a third party? How does it vary depending on where in the world the artist is relative to where the search is conducted?
You see? Messy.
LyricFind says it doesn't scrape either, but collates a database of lyrics it has bought the rights to, and as such any similarity between their results and Genius are… blah blah blah.
The late, great Stan Lee first used the phrase, "...with great power there must also come -- great responsibility!" in a Spiderman comic. But it's true in real life too - and once again, it seems that Google's great power is still reneging on that - all the power - passing the buck of responsibility. Welcome to 2019. μ
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