“Curly” and “straight” apostrophes were used to catch the tech giant “red handed.”
Genius, the annotation-welcoming powerhouse once accused of plagiarizing the bulk of its early content, now claims to have caught Google “information boxes” stealing their lyrics.
According to Rolling Stone, the company suspected plagiary for so long that they devoted precious hours and energy to embedding their lyrics with a (no longer) secret “Morse Code,” comprising some configuration of “curly” and “straight” apostrophes that somehow spell “Red Handed” when straightened into lines. Needlessly complicated, but clever (?)
Chief Strategy Officer, Ben Gross, the man who undoubtedly came up with this convoluted boobytrap, told The Wall Street Journal that Genius had “shown Google irrefutable evidence again and again that they are displaying lyrics copied from Genius.” To seemingly confirm the heist, the publication matched the lyrics of three randomly selected songs, which included the ultimate test in Desiigner’s “Panda,” whose lyrics were both practically indecipherable and personally submitted to the site by the rapper. They add that Genius’ traffic has taken a hit since featured snippets began popping up at the top of results pages and only 37% of Google searches got a click-through in March.
Google, of course, has denied culpability, deflecting to a deal with LyricFind, a service that works with music publishers to provide the search engine with content for its information boxes. And LyricFind Chief Executive, Darryl Ballantyne, very logically echoed the tech giant’s sentiments.
Here’s hoping OHHLA eventually secures a check in all of this.