Google search results will show where song lyrics come from

It could address some of Genius' allegations.

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Jon Fingas
June 18th, 2019
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Google isn't sitting idly by while Genius accuses it of copying lyrics. As part of a larger defense of its lyrics search practices, the company has mentioned that it will "soon" attribute the third parties providing song lyrics. This should "make it clearer" as to where the lyrics come from, the company said. In theory, this would direct any complaints to the third parties instead of making Google shoulder all the blame.

In the broader defense, Google maintained that its workers "do not crawl or scrape" sites to grab lyrics, instead licensing the text from outsiders. They're automatically updated whenever there are new lyrics or corrections, Google added.

LyricFind, a key supplier for Google's lyrics, recently maintained that it didn't source verses from Genius and even ruled out the firm's lyrics as a "courtesy." The allegedly copied lyrics were available on "many other lyric sites," the company argued. As such, LyricFind may have inadvertently grabbed lyrics from another company that was using Genius' lyrics without permission.

The disclosures and the response won't necessarily calm nerves at Genius' offices. However, they do illustrate the messiness of lyrics search. There's a chain of companies involved in putting those words on your screen, and it's not always easy to see who's being honest.

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