Business & Tech

Google looks to clean up its lyrics

FILE - This March 23, 2010, file photo shows the Google logo at the Google headquarters in Brussels. Silicon Valley’s biggest businesses could face tougher regulations following Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union. In recent years, the EU’s chief antitrust cop has accused Google of thwarting competition by using its dominant search engine to drive traffic to its own services. And the EU is adopting stricter rules limiting how much personal information online ad companies such as Google and Facebook can collect from Europeans. Analysts say that the U.S. tech industry could face even tougher rules without Britain serving as a moderating counterbalance against countries that have taken more aggressive stances on regulation. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
Virginia Mayo/AP/file 2010

At long last, Google is aiming to get right the song lyrics it lists.

A partnership announced Monday with LyricFind, a Canadian company, has added accurate, licensed lyrics from more than 4,000 music publishers to every Google search. That includes the big four: EMI, Universal, Warner/Chappell, and Sony/ATV.

LyricFind’s database of vetted lyrics, which Google is licensing, pays out royalties to songwriters and rights-holders. It’ll also improve lyrics within Google Play Music, the company’s streaming service, a lesser-known, web-based competitor to Spotify and Apple Music.

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“We’re happy to expand the depth and quality of lyrics available on Google’s services,” said Darryl Ballantyne, LyricFind’s CEO. “We’re working together to make lyrics available to a larger audience in a faster and more efficient way.”

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Google searches have for years pulled lyrics from unlicensed lyric sites, often taken from user-submitted content packed with ads. Though some of the larger ones, like AZLyrics, are licensed, many are not.

The rise in unlicensed lyric sites led The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) to send a take-down notice in 2013 to 50 profitable lyric sites that lacked a license. Some of the sites settled out of court.

Michael Bodley can be reached at michael.bodley@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @michael_bodley.