Grooveshark faces another lawsuit

Grooveshark has been served another lawsuit, to continue its ongoing copyright issues. The lawsuit was issued on July 15th in the state of Tennessee. As CNET reports, the lawsuit comes with the backing of song writers and music publishers, who claim that the service can be used to obtain music illegally. The lawsuit alleges that Grooveshark is responsible for copyright infringement, contributory infringement, and vicarious infringement because of the controversial system in which music is added to the service. Users are allowed to upload their own MP3 files to the site and share them, meaning that the music streams are often from pirated albums, rather than legitimate copies.

The plaintiffs said the following when describing the issue they have with the service:

"Users and subscribers are actively infringing plaintiffs' copyrighted musical compositions"

The lawsuit was filed in the US district court for the Middle County of Tennessee and boasts the approval of several people with significant contributions to the world of music. Among these people are the lead singer of Grand Funk Railroad, Mark Farner, and the songwriter of the 1970s track "Rhinestone Cowboy". When CNET inquired about the allegations, a Grooveshark employee was not available for comment. The company, based in Gainesville, Florida, insists it has done nothing wrong and obeys the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which protects them from acts of copyright infringement perpetrated by their users. 

Grooveshark is, at present, embroiled in a legal conflict with Universal Music Group, so another lawsuit against them may cause issues for the company. In the past, EMI Records had filed a lawsuit against the company, though the situation was soon resolved. In April the website was forced to remove its official application from the Android Market, after receiving complaints from the Recording Industry Institution of America. However, alternative applications do exist on the Market for enjoying music via Grooveshark.

 

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15 Comments

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Grooveshark will eventually get shut down, which is a shame because it's awesome.

Hopefully 10 more will pop up in its place

It is easy to obtain MP3s illegally from Grooveshark. I know one program called "Free Music Zilla" which can download the music. I'm sure there's more.

Courts and government by the corporations for the corporations...your time of the land of the free and home of the brave is over,you traded your freedom for a perception of safety.......so sad!

I'll never pay a penny for on-line music. Grooveshark is nice for listening to what you already have or to discover new titles, albums, artists. If I like more than one title then I buy, in a 3D shop, the 3D CD. I think bothering Grooveshark is bothering the business, musical industry's stubbornness is blinding them to what virtue there is for their own profit, but on a longer term than their narrow-minds are generally able -- or willing --to consider.

Well said!

We've come pretty far with streaming technology. From pirating, to YouTube, to full out streaming with Grooveshark and Pandora. (only listing a few here for example) We're discovering artists and music we never knew existed, and posting it on Facebook/Twitter/etc as well to help spread the word! It's because of this social medium that we're going to concerts, buying artist merchandise, and paying for their music! Who cares if some people aren't going to pay for it, if they're going to spread the word to their 300+ friends? Word of mouth advertising is very powerful!

So what exactly is Grooveshark? The article just presumes everybody knows what it does and the most it tells me is that you can upload music.

Examinus said,
So what exactly is Grooveshark? The article just presumes everybody knows what it does and the most it tells me is that you can upload music.

go to grooveshark.com u ll know

Goddamit this sucks.

Just became a member at Grooveshark, primarily so I could save my playlists and remove advertisements. Used Spotify (in Europe) previously, but the free version of Spotify became far too limited, so I switched to Grooveshark.

Does it really matter where the song streams come from, as long as the music companies and artists get payed? It's as though the music companies -want- to lose money, since they are only alienating their potential customers.

That's the thing - most music companies and artists don't get a penny from Grooveshark. As far as I can tell, Grooveshark only has a licensing deal with EMI so far. That's the reason the app got pulled from the App Store and Android Market.

dnast said,
That's the thing - most music companies and artists don't get a penny from Grooveshark. As far as I can tell, Grooveshark only has a licensing deal with EMI so far. That's the reason the app got pulled from the App Store and Android Market.

Most artists get paid next to nothing when their song is downloaded on iTunes, and similar services. The record companies make all the money, and this is why they sue. They have the money to sue, and they are not making as much because Grooveshark makes a deal with them, and being typical record companies, they want more. With the current Copyright situation Grooveshark may lose, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act is a joke anymore. That defense very rarely holds up even though it should.

darkthunder said,
Goddamit this sucks.

Just became a member at Grooveshark, primarily so I could save my playlists and remove advertisements. Used Spotify (in Europe) previously, but the free version of Spotify became far too limited, so I switched to Grooveshark.

Does it really matter where the song streams come from, as long as the music companies and artists get payed? It's as though the music companies -want- to lose money, since they are only alienating their potential customers.

Almost nobody gets any money from Grooveshark, that's the problem. The simple reason the free Spotify service is now so limited is that it was costing way more in royalties than they were making in advertising.

When are people going to realise that just because they got to free music, getting it free legitimately is virtually impossible?