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.