The only good use for Smart Quotes, ever

Trap Quote Steganography:

Genius says its traffic is dropping because, for the past several years, Google has been publishing lyrics on its own platform, with some of them lifted directly from the music site. [...]

Starting around 2016, Genius said, the company made a subtle change to some of the songs on its website, alternating the lyrics' apostrophes between straight and curly single-quote marks in exactly the same sequence for every song.

When the two types of apostrophes were converted to the dots and dashes used in Morse code, they spelled out the words "Red Handed."

So that's clever and funny, and Google are anticompetitive dicks, but there are no winners here. Genius is straight up admitting that the thing that drives people to their site is just the lyrics, not the annotations that they provide. Google isn't cloning their annotations.

Here's the music mafia trying to quadruple-dip what they've already sold you three times by monetizing the lyrics of the songs you already bought. When you buy an MP3, it has the album artwork embedded in the ID3 tags (almost always, these days), and the lyrics should be there, too. Are they not a part of the song? Are they not the very meta-est of metadata? Yes. Yes they are.

It's as if you bought a BluRay and they told you, "Oh, the subtitle tracks are on a different disc, and that's sold by a completely different wholly-owned subsidiary". Or you bought an album and got files numbered 1 through 14, because the titles of those songs are available under a different licensing regime as a separate add-on subscription service.

If you want to see the lyrics to your music, might I recommend jwzlyrics.

Though I will note that, the site I get my data from, seems to be slacking. They only seem to have lyrics for about half of the new music I buy these days. And I believe they actually pay the mob for their lyrics feed, or they used to.

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