Failure to secure the proper rights and infringing on copyrights has forced Grooveshark to shut down its business.
Grooveshark was an internet music streaming service that was owned by Escape Media Group. Only a statement can be found when going to Grooveshark.com.
“As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies’ copyrighted works and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.”
Click here to read the full statement.
Grooveshark began operation in 2006. Before having to shut down, the number of users on Grooveshark was approximately 20 million.
Grooveshark had been able to fight off numerous lawsuits over the years, but the fact that Grooveshark’s own employees were found to be complicit in the illegal act of copyright infringement was the final nail in the coffin.
This lawsuit against Grooveshark came from the Universal Music Group. The case was heard in U.S. District court with Judge Thomas Griesa presiding over the trial. It was determined that Grooveshark employees had violated copyright laws. It was also found that Grooveshark attempted to hide what they had done by deleting files. Judge Thomas Griesa’s reasoning for the ruling was clear. The full ruling on this case can be found here.
“Escape was directly liable for the infringing uploads of its employees, because the record included uncontroverted evidence that defendants instructed their employees to upload copyright protected music onto Grooveshark. The court also found that defendants Tarantino and Greenberg-the co-founders of Grooveshark-were jointly and severally liable for Escape’s infringement, and were also liable for direct infringement based on their own infringing uploads.”
The amount of damages that Grooveshark will need to pay will be between $3.6 and $736 million. Normally, the penalty for this crime is $30 thousand per occurrence. It was decided that because the act of copyright infringement was a wilful act then damages will be set at $150 thousand per each occurrence. A jury will decide the exact amount Grooveshark will have to pay.
The immediate closing of Grooveshark appeared to come as a shock to some users.
#grooveshark has been shut down today, and they didn’t advise us to save our playlists. Thank you…
— Josema González (@josema_enzo) May 1, 2015
Others were just sad to see it gone.
— Thelma Kerry (@ttunyi) May 1, 2015
Do you think the ruling on Grooveshark was fair? How much do you think Grooveshark should have to pay?
[Image via Mashable.com]