King Crimson Can’t Get Their Music Off of Grooveshark. So They cc’d Digital Music News…

The following are excerpts from a lengthy and angry email exchange between King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, his team, and Grooveshark.  It dates back at least two months, and reveals a fruitless attempt to clear Grooveshark of Fripp’s materials.  We were cc’d on the thread today.

Date: September 13th, 2011

From: Declan Colgan
To: Grooveshark SVP Paul Geller

This is not simply about takedowns.

Most of the material taken down over the weekend has already re-appeared.

This is about that fact that Grooveshark has, repeatedly, allowed this material to be made available illegally, despite numerous notices that this represents an infringement of the copyrights involved: from Grayzone (one behalf of the copyright owner), from myself (as the licensee of the material) & communications that have been personally addressed directly to the company by the copyright holder Robert Fripp.

Irrespective of whether or not a third party label did warrant to Grooveshark that they had such rights (& Virgin/EMI – mentioned by Mr. Ford in writing to a fan who asked the question recently as having granted such licenses to Grooveshark assure us that they did not grant such rights), they are not the copyright owners & would have had no rights to do so.

I can ask Mark Furman, a senior lawyer at the company & copied on this note to confirm this yet again if it will help?

You ask for time & patience from us on the basis that “takedowns have been honored”, yet your site continues to offer King Crimson music illegally to the public.

That deserves public comment.

If you were taking our position “seriously”, you would disable the facilities to search & upload King Crimson music as you do for other artists.

– Declan

Reply.

From: Geller

To: Colgan, Robert Fripp, David Singleton, Mark Fumer (Virgin Music), et. al.

Declan,

I think I’ve been respectful of your position and I don’t object personally to your public commentary. I just said that it doesnt make me take you more seriously, because I already do. I’m trying to find a solution that fits your needs. Thank you for your understanding.

-Paul

Date: September 13th, 2011
From: Robert Fripp
To: Geller

dear mr. geller,

http://grooveshark.com/#/search/song?q=king+crimson

my assumption is that you have not yet managed to find a solution that fits (our) needs.

sincerely, rf.

[fast-forward to October 13th…]

From: David Singleton
To: Grooveshark SVP Paul Geller

Dear Paul,

I read your recent interview in Digital Music News with interest. With regard to artist’s rights you clearly stated :

“You have complete control over what you put on Grooveshark and what you don’t.”

This seems to be at odds with our own experience, where we have NO choice about what we put on Grooveshark. The only choice we are offered is over how much of our time and money we wish to waste in REMOVING items from a service we have never chosen to engage with – a completely different scenario.

You will appreciate that there is huge difference between someone inviting a guest into their home (where they have a choice in advance) and someone moving into your home uninvited and then giving you the chance to evict them.  Particularly if that same uninvited guest returns every day until they are evicted again – at your own expense.

Have Grooveshark changed their modus operandi, or is your statement to Digital Music News utterly misleading as it quite clearly implies that artists put their music onto Grooveshark and choose what to present?

Best

David Singleton

Reply.

Hey David,

I am going to leave Paul Resnikoff CCed on this email against my better judgement but I removed Aaron Ford since he no longer works for us. I hope you let Paul know that I don’t just respond to emails like this while he is watching but take time with unhappy artists like the one you represent whenever necessary — suffice to say that your case is the only one I felt it necessary to be involved with. Ever.

Your experience with Grooveshark was unique in that you followed the procedures to a T, we claimed to have removed the links to your content, but as you demonstrated, they remained intact. I have never seen that happen before. After finding that, there was an exhaustive review of what technical procedures could have caused it and we put two additional safety nets in place to help prevent it from happening to you or anyone else again.

I’ll spare you the technical details except to say: we found a bug. We didn’t see that t had ever effected anyone before. Fixed the bug and now monitor it to make sure it never effects you or anyone else. I thought we resolved that after our last email thread since I had not heard back from you or Declan.

The fact that it ever reached my desk was regrettable in that the conversations escalated through Aaron. There was some idea that your content had been delivered by a label but wasn’t completely ingested. (We’ve had some ingestion problems this year that were producing weird results like that.) I don’t know where that mistruth originated but I know what I saw in email threads prior to my involvement. I saw some opportunities to handle your case better.

Long story short: We’re sorry. I’m sorry. Aaron is sorry. Not our M.O. but we made changes anyway. Email me if you ever have a problem again.

-Paul

 

@Paul Resnikoff, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t publish my email. I think I’ve given you enough as of late but if you find it within your realm of journalistic responsibility to do so, I won’t hold it against you.

104 Responses

  1. megan
    megan

    more utter bullshit from grooveshark.

    I have tried repeatedly, yet failed, to have my material removed from the platform. I get no response to anything filed through their DMCA channel and emails (nearly 30 of them) direct to the company go ignored.
    I was never asked if I want my music to be on there (I don’t), no effort has ever been made to contact me once it was (I found out by chance), and I can’t get it removed.

    Grooveshark are worse than any ‘pirates’ out there. They are a bunch of people in Florida who want to become rich from ripping off artists who have neither the stamina nor powerful enough lawyers to fight them.

    People like Grooveshark are the cancer of the music world and should be shut down as soon as possible.

    Reply
    • You should read this:
      You should read this:

      Stop sending the DMCA notices to the scammers themselves. They have no respect for artists. Instead, send the notices directly to their hosting provider.
      safe harbor = hosting provider
      You send a DMCA notice to YouTube directly because they have their own servers (Google empire).

      Grooveshark is hosted by Level3 (level3.com). This hosting company’s DMCA designated agent information is on this page:
      level3.com/en/network-security/designation-of-agent/
      Put the pressure on the hosting companies themselves. And if any company lies to you or tries to cover a scammer, go public and ask all the other artists to never do business with the hosting company that had this mafia behavior.
      Hurt them where it hurts the most…

      http://dmnrocks.wpengine.com/stories/101711grooveshark

      Reply
    • JERRY D
      JERRY D

      if it wasn’t for grooveshark, who would even know who you are? I love grooveshark. If I hear something new and like it – I support the artist by buying their album. I don’t miss the days of hearing one song off an album. shelling out the $$ for the whole album only to find out its garbage. If you’re music is good people will pay $$ for it – if thats what youre about.

      Reply
  2. Trumped4399
    Trumped4399

    I guess you gotta add King Crimson to that list of artists who’d gladly spit in the faces of the bottomfeeders at Grooveshark…
    Grooveshark — how does it feel to be so universally hated by artists?

    Reply
  3. tony colman
    tony colman

    more utter gash from Grooveshark. They have no respect for creators whatsoever. They do not take down content if you ask them to, and they upload content illegaly. They make Pirate Bay look good. At least PB don’t pretent to be hollier than thou.

    Reply
  4. blu mar ten
    blu mar ten

    +1 on the grooveshark hate from artists.

    getting stuff removed from there is next to impossible unless you want to make it a full-time job.

    fuck you grooveshark, fuck you

    Reply
  5. Food For Thought
    Food For Thought

    What Megan reports above is verbatim to what I’ve heard dozens of times.
    All indications are that Grooveshark’s takedown mechanism is a ruse intended to exhaust and frustrate artists & labels while making their site appear to be DMCA compliant.
    Don’t believe me (or the others posting same here)? Try to get a track you own/control taken down (and if you do get it down watch how quickly it “mysteriously” goes back up).

    Reply
    • lcart210
      lcart210

      Exposing these conversations brings far more pressure to bear than the most exhaustive article. Really appreciate it, Paul. Keep up the great work.

      Reply
  6. JSS
    JSS

    *yawn*
    How long will people continue to gripe about file sharing and oline streams? Aren’t we in year 13 of this same old debate. The landscape has changed. You can’t put it back in the box. Bread’s also more expensive than it was in 1970. That’s how it goes. Evolve or die.

    Reply
    • Steve
      Steve

      Evolve or die?
      Simple-minded argument. Historically, as technology has evolved, copyright law has evolved along with it. Not just “died.” The rights of artist and songwriters aren’t simply thrown out the window.
      Jeez — try to at least contribute something of value to the conversation.

      Reply
    • Bread IS more expensive
      Bread IS more expensive

      And it doesn’t become more affordable when the artist gets ripped off.
      I’ve heard this lame response more than I care to remember. Would you work for free, or worse yet, have your labor stolen?

      Reply
    • tom thumb
      tom thumb

      clarify for me – you seem to be saying that if some new technology arrives that allows wannabe tech company millionaires to take what you create without giving you anything in return, you’re some sort of stick-in-the-mud for not cheering and going along with it?
      “there is huge difference between someone inviting a guest into their home (where they have a choice in advance) and someone moving into your home uninvited and then giving you the chance to evict them. Particularly if that same uninvited guest returns every day until they are evicted again – at your own expense.”

      Reply
    • What?
      What?

      There’s a huge difference here. This isn’t simple filesharing. This is a bunch of punks making MILLIONS of dollars on the backs of these artists. These artists are getting ZERO compensation.
      I e-mail you a track, fine. You really should technically have bought it, but who cares? I’ve shared albums with friends, send them copies. It’s all good. Even torrenting is cool. Why? Because for the most part, people aren’t directly profiting off of this. Beyond that, tracking down exactly what you’re looking for and then building your collection of improperly tagged tracks is a pain in the ass. It’s much easier to just go to grooveshark. For the less than tech-savvy it’s the bomb! A single website with serach-click-play functionality, all built into a legit/legal looking operation. That way, even those who have probably never used P2P in their lives and those who might think they’re not doing anything scummy jump on board and and enjoy the freebies.
      People then sit there and think, “Man. Pandora is crap. I can’t listen to whatever I want, I have to sit through those lame-ass audio ads, and I can only skip forward a limited number of times. I’m going to grooveshark. They run ads too. So the artists must be getting a piece there too.” Most of the uninformed masses fail to realize that Pandora has licensing agreements in place and is playing by the books. That’s how they’re (barely) able to offer a free service. Meanwhile, these chumps at Grooveshark are pocketing virtually ALL of the ad revenue they bring in. I’m not a musician and am in no way involved in the music industry. But I know wrong when I see it. And Grooveshark is just plain wrong.

      Reply
  7. What's a "mistruth"?

    That has to be one of the funniest things I’ve read lately.
    My kids tell me mistruths all the time, apparently. But I can send them to their room. Can’t do that here, unfortuately.
    Excellent post.

    Reply
  8. Steve
    Steve

    I feel all the hate towards Grooveshark is justified. Yes, things are moving towards that direction, and I fully support it, as a musician and a music fan. The cat’s out of the bag, so to speak, and as much as my life would potentially be easier if it was 1993, I haven’t played an actual CD in years. Haven’t had to.

    The only thing that bugs me about this is while Grooveshark is trying to circumvent the issues that other sites are having, you can’t find Crimson music on any ‘legit’ streaming site either. As a King Crimson fan, I think much of that music is timeless and should be available to be discovered by younger musicians, and it frustrates me that Fripp is so determined to keep his music away from them. At least I was able to upload my Crimson (and Beatles. And Zep. And AC/DC) collection to Google Music.

    Reply
    • Oh, honestly
      Oh, honestly

      RF’s music is readily available. He just insists that it’s come by honestly. There is absolutely no truth in the implication that he is trying to keep his music away from people.

      Reply
    • yezzir k
      yezzir k

      just like all the crying the douche from metallica did. I was one of those people that got kicked off of napster for downloading their songs cause i liked them. i was too young to work and parents wouldn’t buy me their cd, so i downloaded it for free. I never listened to them again after that. i picture this dude sitting at home counting all his money, making sure all the bills are stacked face up, closing the window so the draft doesn’t blow them over. lol. all the while none of the younger kids who don’t have the money to buy their music get to ever know who they are.

      Reply
  9. Kev
    Kev

    Here’s the net take away from this story — and from similar stories that will inevitably come out in the future.

    Grooveshark loses.

    Regardless of how well arguments are made, pro or con, in this silly comments section — Grooveshark loses. The headline says it all — and that is the take-away in the minds of the collective public. That GS is part of the problem, and not artist advocates.
    GS wants so badly to be in the same conversation as MOG, Rdio, Spotify and the other more legitimate streaming sites. But they’re most often not. Articles like these — with damning headlines, no less — are each a nail in their eventual coffin. Their investors (Michael Buckley @ Intel Capital), their brand sponsors, their advertisers — even the artists they choose to promote — they’ll eventually fall by the wayside. The reason being: the cons of the association with Grooveshark exceed the pros. Essentially, there’s too much residual stink associated with GS.

    Reply
    • Allan
      Allan

      When told for the umpteenth time by Declan Colgan and Robert Fripp to remove unauthorised King Crimson and related material (for which all recording copyrights are owned outright by Fripp) from their site, Groove$hark’s “VP of Legal Affairs” responded:

      Mr. Panegyric and Mr. Fripp:
      I am surprised by your complete lack of professionalism and diligence…
      I think this tells you what kind of outfit they are – they’re completely in the wrong and know it, but rather than apologise, make amends and clean up their act, they prefer to sling mud.
      Parasites, pure and simple.

      Reply
      • jaffa
        jaffa

        The standard body of choices and techniques present at a given time and a given place is referred to as performance practice, whereas interpretation is generally used to mean either individual choices of a performer, or an aspect of music that is not clear, and therefore has a standard interpretation. Thanks a lot.
        Regards,
        Atlanta bankruptcy attorney

        Reply
  10. justin1992
    justin1992

    Uh — sounds like a mangement shuffle is long over-due at good ‘ol Grooveshark…
    What a bunch of hacks.
    Occupy Grooveshark!!
    Hahahaha…

    Reply
  11. justin1992
    justin1992

    Uh — sounds like a mangement shuffle is long over-due at good ‘ol Grooveshark…
    What a bunch of hacks.
    Occupy Grooveshark!!
    Hahahaha…

    Reply
  12. Indie Label
    Indie Label

    We had this exact same experience with an extremely similar email exchange.

    Totally and blatently illegal and they don’t care. They’re hoping to sell to someone before anyone calls them on it and walk away with cash.

    Reply
  13. Darren
    Darren

    I know this is the kind of sensational bull that Paul R thrives on, but for some reason or another, I expected more out of the digitalmusicnews community.
    This is what I hear ad nauseuam from the majority of content holders and industry authorities (work at majors, indies, management, artists, etc.)
    -since Napster, the industry is evolving to some kind of cloud-based access model (remains to be seen exactly what this will look like in ~5 years)
    -teens (the next generation of music buyers) almost never pay to listen to music because they don’t feel they have to. Again, Napster reeducated the consumer side of the industry into this mindset and that’s never changing. This being the next generation of music consumers, this leads to hopes of bundling and subscription revenues which leads to..
    -they really hope subscription model works, but VERY few people are hopeful considering there would need to be ONE winner to meet the kind of numbers that would pay out everyone who owns a piece of the content. I say ‘very’ few because anyone who looks at the numbers knows that Spotify has to reach a RIDICULOUS number of subscribers before they can become profitable and start paying actual revenues rather than the money Sean Parker and the rest of their VCs gave them to start
    -Grooveshark is a ‘disrupter’ (more on this to follow)
    -No one, and I mean, NO ONE is happy about per-stream pay outs. If you’re an artist or a manager and you’re banking on per-stream payouts being your major revenue generator for the future, you need to start looking into the alternative revenue streams that are going to fund the careers of the musicians with slightly more business-savvy.
    I don’t agree with everything Grooveshark’s done in the past. For the majority of their time around, they’ve been a young company that’s made some pretty immature decisions. What I do believe is that Grooveshark’s model of free-to-play, unlimited access to music is what’s going to prevail, if not in 5, certainly in the next 10 years.
    Technology takes consumers ahead,
    copyright laws fight to keep up,
    a newly realized industry is born via new revenue streams.
    As a content rights holder, I’m doing my best to learn the lesson from 10 years ago the industry failed at when they flipped the finger to both consumers and ‘Napster’, the disrupter that absolutely changed this industry for the better. Now ‘that’s an outrageous statement’ is what you’re saying because we still haven’t figured out how to become a $40 billion/year industry yet, but we’ll get there. This industry is better than ever because…
    -more music is being created than ever before
    -more people are listening than ever before

    Reply
    • Andrea
      Andrea

      Snooze…
      And Grooveshark as disrupter? Please, you insult truly disruptive technologies by this statement. No one is trying to stop new technology — in fact, we clearly welcome it. But models that rip off artists won’t last. The tide will turn.
      What to do with the monies not being paid out for artist royalties? Grooveshark should a great crisis PR firm and try dearly to find a positive spin out of all this…
      (Kudos to Digital Music News…)

      Reply
      • Darren
        Darren

        Clearly. This industry is well known for embracing the technology leaps.
        /unnessecary sarcasm
        But in all seriousness and so I understand where you’re coming from, is your point that per stream royalties are going to be the major revenue generators for artists in our ‘new industry’?

        Reply
    • pissed off artist
      pissed off artist

      all utterly irrelevant.
      what grooveshark are doing by allowing unmoderated upload of artist material then refusing to take it down is basically saying that you have no option but to be raw material in their build-a-business-model experiment.

      If artists don’t want to be a part of it why are they being forced into it?!!?!
      Whether the artists are short-sighted or not is neither here nor there. Their right to be short-sighted is being removed from them in order to build someone else’s business that they will never see any benefit from, and that is simply wrong.

      Reply
    • Indie Label
      Indie Label

      Darren,
      What you’re saying is that since someone figured out away to give artists stuff away for free, artists are dumb for not letting them? You’re saying that artists and labels are not “business savvy” because they want to be paid for their work? That’s literally the opposite of “business savvy.”
      What you’re seeing is one group of folks who play by the rules (laws) and another group who, since they’re not collectible monitarily, don’t really have any motivation to follow those rules. This is how YouTube built a business on Viacom properties and sold to Google for a bagillion dollars; then google was immediately sued by Viacom.

      The OTHER option, the one that makes sense, the one that’s “savvy,” is that artists and labels stop laying down and accepting this “people think music is free” (which, by the way, isn’t true… iTunes sells a metric assload of music every day). If everyone who makes music decides to stick up for themselves and demand to be paid what they deserve… then it’s no longer the “reality.”

      Oh, well, people are stealing all our shit… we’d be dumb not to let them.

      Bull.

      Reply
    • Indie Label
      Indie Label

      Also, Darren…

      Your statement, which is echoed by many, that teens don’t buy music is compeltely not true. Do you have any idea where you first heard that statement? Probably from someone else who heard it from someone who heard it from the guy who totally made it up because it sounded right.

      It’s False.
      You want proof? Justin Bieber has $100 Million + in iTunes sales of proof.
      Apparently you think that’s 65-year-old coal miners downloading Biebs.
      If people stopped ASSUMING these things as given; and scams like Grooveshark would stop taking it upon themselves to “liberate” other people’s content… that would allow the industry to creat a solution that works for everyone.
      Until then, look at an actual number/statistic now and then.

      Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      what’s your point? youtube have a proper payment structure in place and are paying out no problem – i make a lot of money from youtube plays.
      They also have a dmca process that works and take stuff down within 24 hours or less.
      no problem with youtube at all. loads of problems with grooveshark though.

      Reply
      • The Laughing Man
        The Laughing Man

        You get paid for views of content uploaded by users other than yourself? Man, my understanding of how youtube advertising works is way off.
        I must assume then that isn’t the case and you do periodic searches of youtube’s content yourself and submit takedown requests. AFAIK, isn’t that exactly how you’d deal with Grooveshark or any other company that has to abide by the DMCA?
        I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t know of any minimum/maximum time someone has to complete the DMCA process. I’d think anything within a few days would be acceptable.
        ~
        The original point of posting that search URL is because others have been posting Grooveshark search URL’s in a similar format. If the shit pot is going to be stirred I’m one to ensure that all the shit gets stirred.
        If the copyright holder of King Crimson want’s to excercise their owner rights I’d hope that they’d do so to all DMCA complient sites.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          You get paid for views of content uploaded by users other than yourself? Man, my understanding of how youtube advertising works is way off.
          Yes, exactly so. You get on youtube’s content program and you get paid for plays regardless of who uploaded it. In fact the more people that upload your stuff the better it is for you. We make good quality videos for our tracks and give them out free to our fans to stick on their channels specifically for this reason. It helps them by giving them decent quality content for their channels and saves them the hassle of have to create videos, and it helps us because we get paid for the plays and get to control the quality of the content.
          I must assume then that isn’t the case and you do periodic searches of youtube’s content yourself and submit takedown requests. AFAIK, isn’t that exactly how you’d deal with Grooveshark or any other company that has to abide by the DMCA?
          No, see above. The difference is youtube honours takedown requests and deals with them immediately whereas Grooveshark just ignores them.

          Reply
          • Allan
            Allan

            Hello Visitor, thanks for your comment.
            >We make good quality videos for our tracks and give them out free to our fans to stick on their channels specifically for this reason.
            Great – but other musicians prefer not to give away their recordings free, which is really what this row with Groove$hark is about.

  14. Jon b.
    Jon b.

    For what it is worth, Mr. Geller responded almost immediately to an email from us and promised to act quickly on our take-down request.
    Jon b.
    Valley Entertainment

    Reply
    • Haha
      Haha

      Of course he’s going to act quickly, now that he has completely humiliated himself, and his company!
      Geller isn’t going to amount to much in this business the way he conducts himself…

      Reply
      • Allan
        Allan

        For what it is worth, Mr. Geller responded almost immediately to an email from us and promised to act quickly on our take-down request.
        Jon b. (Valley Entertainment)
        Thanks Jon. Unfortunately it probably isn’t worth much; Groove$hark have repeatedly promised Declan Coglan and Robert Fripp they will take down illegal materila, but it always reappears.
        This suggests they don’t really want to sort out the problem.

        Reply
        • GR8FL
          GR8FL

          Just wondering how Robert Fripp, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, et al thinks they are going to expose their music; attract new fans and keep their current ones with their seeming investment in the archiac business model in this digital age that we currently are in? I truly believe that musicians should be fairly compensated for their work and nobody should be ripping anyone off, but there has to be some realism inserted into this thread.

          I am just a regular person who happens to like a lot of music. Personally, I have invested thousands and thousands of $$ over the years. But I am not going to buy anything that I have never heard of. Because of the Internet and sites such as GS (which I don’t like much for other reasons), I have been exposed to more new music than through any combined meduim which includes XM/Sirius (also on the decline). Once upon a time I used to go to record stores and sample vinyl records. I would walk in having no intention to buy anything, only to walk out an hour later having purchased 20 albums, all because I sampled a few tracks. The same held true when I purchased CDs. But the demise of local music retailers has curtailed this experience.

          It’s only been through the Internet and sites that allow music to be streamed that has served to ‘market’ music for free for the recording industry. Because of the Internet, I have discovered plenty of music which has resulted in spending large amounts of money on CDs, digital downloads, upgraded audio software/hardware, shows, merchandise, etc. I know 1000s of people that have done the same. I just don’t get how the recording industry refuses to see how this all benefits them. But instead of being grateful, they bury their head in the sand and refuse to understand how their artists are promoted at no cost to them at all.

          And yes, GS was wrong to not have honored the takedown request when first asked. I will also respect the wishes of Robert Fripp and never listen online again to anything to do with his music.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Comment By: GR8FL

            Just wondering how Robert Fripp, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, et al thinks they are going to expose their music; attract new fans and keep their current ones with their seeming investment in the archiac business model in this digital age that we currently are in? I truly believe that musicians should be fairly compensated for their work and nobody should be ripping anyone off, but there has to be some realism inserted into this thread.

            Realistically, those particular artists are doing fine and are good examples of the new business model: they own their own recordings, advertise their music on their own sites and don’t have to resort to Spotify et al (at the rate of $0.000001 per play or whatever it is) to attract listeners.
            Of course it’s not so easy for new bands, but one way forward would be for artists to set up their own online shops and form alliances with similar-minded acts and labels to form commercial mini-networks. Musicians are a co-operative breed and will happily link to each others’ sites if they like the music.
            Good point about the demise of record shops; but really, it’s not hard to find new music on the internet via legitimate, artist-approved sites and their audio clips.
            Because of the Internet, I have discovered plenty of music which has resulted in spending large amounts of money on CDs, digital downloads, upgraded audio software/hardware, shows, merchandise, etc.
            Cool – nothing wrong with the Internet, the beef here is about the unethical behaviour of some companies who trade on it.

          • GR8FL
            GR8FL

            Visitor: You stated “Realistically, those particular artists are doing fine and are good examples of the new business model: they own their own recordings, advertise their music on their own sites and don’t have to resort to Spotify et al (at the rate of $0.000001 per play or whatever it is) to attract listeners.”
            This would be true if people actually heard of King Crimson and purposely went to their site to find the music. But I can guarantee you that for every person that has heard of this band, that there are dozens that never have.
            The music sites that I have frequented, where I have joyously streamed a new track that I legally purchased, then digitized and uploaded, has in many cases exposed thousands to a particular artist for the first time. Some would argue that I am breaking the law by uploading and making it available. I argue in return that I have benefitted the artist because now they have 10 or 100 or 1000 new fans who are in turn telling their community about it, which in turn creates even more interest exponentially. Bottom line is more revenue to the artist through CD sales, ticket sales, merchandise sales, etc.
            Maybe this isn’t the right thread to be discussing this and I am not defending Grooveshark at all; they were slapped with a DMCA Takedown and have ignored it. They should comply.
            But I want to make very clear that music lovers such as myself, who have no profit making motive, only the desire to listen and share with others on a global level, are not being exposed to bands such as King Crimson if this is the business model they are sticking with.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Realistically, those particular artists are doing fine and are good examples of the new business model: they own their own recordings, advertise their music on their own sites and don’t have to resort to Spotify et al (at the rate of $0.000001 per play or whatever it is) to attract listeners.”
            Actually it was me (Allan) who said this – something went awry with the ‘reply’ procedure 🙂
            I think it’s worth briefly discussing the exposure angle since it’s frequently cited as a justification for illicit music usage.
            … I have benefitted the artist because now they have 10 or 100 or 1000 new fans who are in turn telling their community about it, which in turn creates even more interest exponentially.
            That’s an argument one hears a lot. Where I would disagree is that you don’t “create fans” by adding a group’s name and tracks to a list of 5,000 others on some streaming site. It’s too indiscriminate. The internet is supposed to be a tool for intelligent, target-based marketing: a good example of that is Burning Shed in the UK, who intelligently group together acts who might appeal to the same listeners.
            I can guarantee you that for every person that has heard of this band, that there are dozens that never have.
            That’s OK. It’s sensible not to try to market to everybody. Most music doesn’t have mass appeal, and there would be no point in marketing a special-interest band like King Crimson to the world at large. IMHO what the music scene needs now is intelligent, consensual focus, not the scattergun, globalized approach of the old record companies..
            I understand you’re not defending Grooveshark et al, thanks for making that clear!

          • T
            T

            How Mr Fripp & others like him expose their music is by utilising the internet to market it & they should then be entitled to expect due reward for their efforts. On dgmlive.com I watched the video of Scarcity of Miracles, & bought the cd, went to a performance by Travis & Fripp advertised there, bought the cd of “Thread” & a couple of weeks later downloaded the same performance. Perhaps I am out of date as well, but the expectation that music of quality will continue to be made by those like Fripp if they can’t scrape some sort of living from it. I wonder how many there are like Martin Orford who have quietly given up as piracy has taken their livliehood away. Buy his cd (or legitimate download) “The Old Road”

  15. party people!
    party people!

    calling all artists, songwriters and copyright creators:
    there’s too much hatin’, and not enuf lovin’!
    come show some real love to those fluffy, wacky groovesharkers!
    they’re throwing a party next thursday night, october 20th, from 9 until midnight, at the LES Thompson Hotel. this isn’t a cmj event, so all you have to do is rsvp to cmj@soundctrl.com
    paul, jack, sam and the rest of the grooveshark crew can’t wait to meet you!
    😉

    Reply
    • Mathew
      Mathew

      You think you can insult a musician and then expect the rest to act as if it never happened?
      The only way I am licensing my label’s catalog (+450 titles) for Grooveshark is if Robert Fripp does the same.
      Want to bet how many other label managers and artists think like this?

      Reply
    • mellowlandings
      mellowlandings

      Comment By: party people!

      calling all artists, songwriters and copyright creators:
      there’s too much hatin’, and not enuf lovin’!
      come show some real love to those fluffy, wacky groovesharkers!
      …more like “too much stealin’, not enough hidin'”!
      After Grooveshark’s blatant disrespect and disregard for the artists’ right to compensation, you seriously expect them to just turn the other way and run to this so-called ‘party’ with opejn arms>
      Pray tell me, ‘party person’…are you nuts?

      Reply
  16. I had enough of this
    I had enough of this

    My $0.10 piece of public advice to Robert Fripp and any one else hurt by the piracy websites like Grooveshark:
    If Grooveshark is not responding to *multiple* DMCA notices, it is time to start sending them to their hosting company and domain registrar (yes, they are service providers as well, yes I have done this successfully in the past).
    Also, BMI, ASCAP, SECAC, MCPS e.t.c. have to step up and protect their members. Enough is enough. Let’s see if a hosting company wants to ingore a notice from a PRO.

    Reply
  17. DMCA much?
    DMCA much?

    Enough with the Grooveshark hate. They are entitled to the DMCA for user-generated content just like everyone else. The only way to get undistributed/orphan content into a subscription service is to incorporate a user-upload function. The more millions of tracks, the more people will subscribe. These sites are the future of the music industry, but must be scaled out to provide the residual annuity that will eventually replace record sales. Stop living in the past people.

    Reply
    • IGNORANT
      IGNORANT

      Protecting artists and songwriters IS the future. And protecting these rights in a way that encourages the development new technologies: that’s the very do-able goal.
      What Grooveshark does is old school, sleazy, and straight-up highway robbery.

      Reply
  18. Los Angeles Artist (still comi
    Los Angeles Artist (still comi

    Essentially what you have here, is a ton of people upset at how things have changed and moved on beyond their means to control them.

    What you don’t have here, is all the artists who are doing great right now.. because they quite simply don’t hang out on these kind of blogs and lament for brighter times that past.

    The Internet = Free

    No matter which way you dice it,

    Sure there are some services that provide easier access to music, and some people who dont mind paying for that, but i genuinely feel King Crimson and any artist on here who is mad at groove shark would be better off getting off the blogs, and into their bedroom and writing a decent enough song that people actually want to SHARE!

    Thats not a personal stab at any band but more so a reality check, because last time i looked the only bands making any money right now are:

    – Touring Artists – that actually have tons of people who want to see them, because they were SHARED a lot.

    – Synced Artists – that write either astounding songs that suit a certain film, or have been so SHARED that their perceived value to a brand is worth enough to shell out good size amounts of money for them.

    – Pre Internet era bands – bands that got out to the masses before the internet did, and largely have been able to maintain and hold a following before the myspace ere and beyond, of course the ones that haven’t are perhaps the ones right now who are fighting all this ‘progress’ ‘change’ etc etc

    Does’nt that make SHARING sort of a new currency? because the value off each SHARE.. or LIKE or any of that.. is something not even your major labels can buy. You cant fake excitement for a song, but yet when you are SHARED / LIKED alot then all sorts of things start happening for your career…

    Funnily enough, all the new platforms do provide just that currency.. Spotify, Grooveshark etc..

    So their ‘Grooveshark’ model for how they get paid, is not really your problem, your problem is how you get paid.. and you gotta wake up soon and realise, your not gonna be buying a house because a million people streamed your song.. but fuck! a million people streamed your song? That must have been due to a TON of SHARES and LIKES, and that must mean its really good.. so get off your argumentative arse, write a decent enough song, get SHARED, get LIKED then get on tour and go see them.. your also not gonna buy a house because you yanked your music off spotify or fought grooveshark with such bravado ..just so that you could remain in the past?

    You will quite simply in my opinion, fall slowly into the ‘where are they now’ part of most of your fans/supporters minds..

    ..because they are all on Grooveshark, Spotify, etc etc.. and if they aren’t yet they will be within a year or so.

    Welcome to the new music industry people, its different, very different.. but people still LIKE and SHARE it just like they did when it was word of mouth in the 50s..

    (i wrote this quickly because i have a busy day, but scanned my emails this morning and got frustrated by this stupid pointless debate.. so apologies if my grammar is not decent)

    much love and luck to all
    x

    Reply
    • Allan
      Allan

      Hi Los Angeles Artist,
      Thanks for your positivity. *I* think essentially what we have here is a lot of people upset at Grooveshark, but I take your general points and appreciate you made them without insulting anyone!
      >The Internet = Free
      OK, so you’re suggesting that artists should SHARE their music, as in give it all away? And if they give it away in sufficient quantities, they will make money by other means, right?
      >your problem is how you get paid..
      Quite! Can you kindly give me a specific example of a contemporary act this financial strategy (i.e. giving away their recordings) has worked for?
      Best wishes, Allan

      Reply
      • Los Angeles Artist (still comi
        Los Angeles Artist (still comi

        Yes Alan.. check out a band called The Weeknd
        http://the-weeknd.com/
        they have been giving their album / music away free on their site since march i believe.. and its so good and getting shared so much that they now are getting booked with very good fees all across this fine country.. upward of 25k per show.. because there is DEMAND for them that came from thousands of SHARES and LIKES.
        Many different blogs got behind them because they are GOOD. Also their music is for this time apparently.. That doesnt mean your band or my band is BAD, it just means we either havent had the luck or the right timing collide with all our hard work just yet.. but if our songs are actually good.. then you know what! im sure something positive will happen for each of us.
        If not it doesnt matter.. we still made good art that we can be so proud of..
        its disheartening to comprehend and hard to realise sometimes that things will NEVER again be how they were.
        But sooner or later whether you realise it or not you will either evolve like the artists that aren’t fighting this.. or you will simply be left behind bitter and twisted..
        again that is not directed at you.. its simply directed at myself, at any artist that is struggling to get their head around this adaptation that is currently taking place.
        hope that makes sense?

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          none of that is either here or there.
          someone above already discussed this. the conversation is not about whether artists are being shortsighted but whether they have the right to be shortsighted or not.
          grooveshark is removing artists right to be stupid or not and that’s simply unnacceptable.

          Reply
          • Los Angeles Artist (still comi
            Los Angeles Artist (still comi

            @Visitor
            respectfully disagree..

            And I also believe that first and foremost reality.. removes the right to be stupid.. the term evolve or die, is very relevent in this discussion.

            After reality.. perhps, progress.. the future.. life.. evolution.. all of those removes the artist right to be stupid..

            maybe not even removes it.. just artists should not be stupid.

            People had to stop selling horse and carts when the car was invented.. whether they wanted to or not.. they didnt have a choice. The Car cannot be blamed for being disrespectful to the horse and cart industry..

            either ways, this is the kind of argument or topic that will never resolve.. i just wanted to say something so that other artists reading this who are open minded to the future, and how its all evolving may see another side to this very ill-advised and ignorant debate..

            If your mad at the new industry.. leave it, get involved with real estate or something else. Last time i checked you still cant download a house.

            I cant imagine it being too helpful to your creativity to remain negative and futile, Perhaps start smiling, and stop fighting for the last few crumbs of sales from the old horse and cart music industry, and keep making your art!!

            the future is bright people.. its just very different!

            again..

            much love

            x

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            you’re just reiterating the same point
            “People had to stop selling horse and carts when the car was invented.. whether they wanted to or not.. they didnt have a choice. ”

            that analogy only works if you change it to

            “People were forced into selling horse and carts when the car was invented, whether they wanted to or not..with the money for their work going straight to the car company – they didnt have a choice. “

  19. Visitor
    Visitor

    I work for Grooveshark. Here is some information from the trenches:
    We are assigned a predetermined ammount of weekly uploads to the system and get a small extra bonus if we manage to go above that (not easy).The assignments are assumed as direct orders from the top to the bottom, we don’t just volunteer to “enhance” the Grooveshark database.
    All search results are monitored and when something is tagged as “not available”, it get’s queued up to our lists for upload. You have to visualize the database in two general sections: “known” stuff and “undiscovered/indie/underground”. The “known” stuff is taken care internally by uploads. Only for the “undiscovered” stuff are the users involved as explained in some posts above. Practically speaking, there is not much need for users to upload a major label album since we already take care of this on a daily basis.
    Are the above legal, or ethical? Of course not. Don’t reply to give me a lecture. I know. But if the labels and their laywers can’t figure out how to stop it, then I don’t feel bad for having a job. It’s tough times.
    Why am I disclosing all this? Well, I have been here a while and I don’t like the attitude that the administration has aquired against the artists. They are the enemy. They are the threat. The things that are said internally about them would make you very very angry. Interns are promised getting a foot in the music industry, only to hear these people cursing and bad mouthing the whole industry all day long, to the point where you wonder what would happen if Grooveshark get’s hacked by Anonymous one day and all the emails leak on some torrent or something.
    And, to confirm the fears of the members of King Crimson, there is no way in hell you can get your stuff down. They are already tagged since you sent in your first complaint. The administration knows that you can’t afford to sue for infringement.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      quoted before deletion ^

      I work for Grooveshark. Here is some information from the trenches:
      We are assigned a predetermined ammount of weekly uploads to the system and get a small extra bonus if we manage to go above that (not easy).The assignments are assumed as direct orders from the top to the bottom, we don’t just volunteer to “enhance” the Grooveshark database.
      All search results are monitored and when something is tagged as “not available”, it get’s queued up to our lists for upload. You have to visualize the database in two general sections: “known” stuff and “undiscovered/indie/underground”. The “known” stuff is taken care internally by uploads. Only for the “undiscovered” stuff are the users involved as explained in some posts above. Practically speaking, there is not much need for users to upload a major label album since we already take care of this on a daily basis.
      Are the above legal, or ethical? Of course not. Don’t reply to give me a lecture. I know. But if the labels and their laywers can’t figure out how to stop it, then I don’t feel bad for having a job. It’s tough times.
      Why am I disclosing all this? Well, I have been here a while and I don’t like the attitude that the administration has aquired against the artists. They are the enemy. They are the threat. The things that are said internally about them would make you very very angry. Interns are promised getting a foot in the music industry, only to hear these people cursing and bad mouthing the whole industry all day long, to the point where you wonder what would happen if Grooveshark get’s hacked by Anonymous one day and all the emails leak on some torrent or something.
      And, to confirm the fears of the members of King Crimson, there is no way in hell you can get your stuff down. They are already tagged since you sent in your first complaint. The administration knows that you can’t afford to sue for infringement.”

      Reply
      • Allan
        Allan

        Says it all, doesn’t it? Now watch Grooveshark deny that this person works for them. If you’re not sure who’s telling the truth, reflect on the fact that G’shark’s boss lied to Robert Fripp when he said he had permission from a “label partner” to upload KC material. (A lie he subsequently publicly retracted.)

        Reply
        • Nick
          Nick

          Actually, it’s not that easy. They can’t just deny it, because they can’t be 100% sure if this person has documents or files at hand. What if they send out a press release to deny it, only to wake up to a data leak the next day?
          They will probaly try to find out who this person is, by making some kind of unofficial investigation inside the company. That is also very tricky, because what are you going to do, sue him…? That would be like a gang going to the nearest police station and making a complaint about a member for going online and saying that they are scamming people’s credit cards.
          On the other hand, maybe I give Grooveshark too much credit. Maybe they are stupid enough to go down that road. That would be fun. I can picture the Feds in the field office laughing just by reading these lines… 😀

          Reply
    • L. Hayes
      L. Hayes

      This is huge!
      Hey @Visitor from Grooveshark, if you’re listening you HAVE to email Digital Music News to confirm your identity and they’ll protect your confidentiality. This has to get out there.
      LH

      Reply
      • No, no, no.
        No, no, no.

        That’s a very bad idea – Grooveshark could request that Digital Music News reveal their source in court. Perhaps the whistleblower has his/her reasons not to reveal his identity. We have to respect that.
        Another interesting fact is that Grooveshark grabs interns from the University of Florida. I wonder what the university officials think about the whole situation of internship labor in “web 2.0” corporations.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          Yeah, sorry but that is not going happen any time soon. I am not stupid. If someone from digitalmusicnews.com thinks I am trolling, they can go ahead and delete my post. All the King Crimson music will eventually be available again, anyway. Song by song, perhaps, so that pissed English old man wont notice too soon. Don’t take my word for it, just be a little bit patient, wait and see for yourselves. Do a search after a couple days or whatever. Maybe make a “mistake” and search for “King Crimson” as “song”, instead of “artist”.
          Just because you can’t see an album available right now, doesn’t mean its not sitting quietly in the background. It is policy to put albums on “backup”, when they have to be taken down due to a DMCA notice, to chill things out with the labels and what not. The albums are not deleted, if that’s what you guys think.
          My impression is that the labels only take action when some artist literally prints a page and holds it in front of their noses. So, if you are an artist, either accept it and move on, maybe find some other business to invest your time and talent, or do what you have to do to defend your current business. Pretending that there is some sort of middle ground won’t take you very far.
          (You should hear the Big Boss screams today. Ho ho ho. Furious. King Crimson – office chair / Big Boss – Steve Balmer)

          Reply
  20. tarquin
    tarquin

    Looking at the numerous communications about this topic, it appears that Grooveshark are no better than thieves masquerading as a legitimate business. In King Crimson’s case, it is abundantly clear who owns the copyright on the band’s product.
    The copyright owner has requested (demanded) on numerous occasions to remove King Crimson’s music from Grooveshark and make it permanently unavailable. This has not happened.
    If I walk into a record store and help myself to a bunch of CDs and walk out without paying, am I guilty of theft? Absolutely. Similarly taking music from the internet without paying for it is also stealing. Providing stolen goods for others to pilfer is also a crime, for which one can be tried in court: it is commonly known as “fencing”.
    Grooveshark has no case, or justification here. They should lose their business license on account of such (criminal) practice. Did Paul Geller get a degree at the Bernie Madoff School of Business Studies?

    Reply
  21. Adam
    Adam

    This is crazy. You can still find King Crimson/Robert Fripp material on Grooveshark.
    Fripp should e-mail a DMCA notice to Grooveshark’s hosting company. The hosts generally avoid bad PR at all costs.

    Reply
  22. Jeremy A
    Jeremy A

    OK, Grooveshark is a mafia company. No one in the music industry denies that.
    But have King Crimson ever googled their band name? Right now there are piracy results in the first page on Google Search. If you want to protect yourself, you have to do it all around. Otherwise, scams like Grooveshark may play the “they are targeting us” card for PR purposes.

    Reply
  23. Lisa Thomas Music Services
    Lisa Thomas Music Services

    Paul Geller is either completely out of touch with his own company, hallucinatory, or just a complete liar.

    I am the publishing administrator for the main songwriters of the Eagles and have spents hours upon hours serving DMCA takedown notices on Grooveshark’s designated agent demanding the site remove all of the compositions owned and controlled by my clients. I have cited the specific url’s of each infringing post in the notices. To date, Grooveshark has not removed any of the material. (I have noticed, however, that the url’s constantly change, meaning that, while Grooveshark might momentarily remove a specific url, another identical replacement is uploaded within 24 hours.)
    Grooveshark has not made any effort to serve NOI’s with respect to its use of any compositions owned by any of my clients, and is not paying to use the music on its service, unlike Spotify, unlike Rhapsody, unlike the legitimate music services.
    They do not pay labels; they do not pay artists. However, Mr. Geller and his staff surely do not work for free. Perhaps it’s time for the artists who are being ripped off by Grooveshark to begin to contact the advertisers paying Grooveshark for ad space to let them know that association with the “evil” internet companies like Grooveshark will bring them the kind of bad publicity and reputation that’s difficult to undo.

    Artists have power. Grooveshark should be mindful of that.

    Reply
  24. Harry V.
    Harry V.

    Sitting here listening to Robert Fripp’s music on Grooveshark while typing. Yeah, Grooveshark respects DMCA notices. Right…
    Do the people who work for Grooveshark understand what “word-of-mouth” stands for? Perhaps they have mistaken it for some kind of tropical disease?
    Boy, I can’t wait for someone to show up at my company with the word “Grooveshark” in his resume. Payback is a bitch.

    Reply
  25. Visitor
    Visitor

    Really interesting conversation here! Over the past 10 years or so I had built and ENORMOUS library of torrented music. So much so that I had my own rack mount storage server so I could store it all. It probably cost me more in eletricity to keep that thing running then the cost of the actual music on it. 🙂 But when Spotify hit US shores, that all changed for me. I shut off the server and gladly pay my $10 a month now. Hell, I would probably pay $50 a month. Lesson here: if the music industry can come up with a better, worth while, business model then even the most die hard pirates can be swayed.
    Sadly it seems like some artists are now ‘windowing’ their music to streaming servcies (Coldplay, Black Keys). If that trend continues the music server is getting turned back on.

    Reply
    • Ben
      Ben

      Go on, keep making that threat on various threads on DMN and elsewhere. I can’t wait for the moment someone asks for your ip address and kicks your ass.

      Reply
  26. concerned

    Well this is upsetting. At least it still seems I can occasionally find the songs uploaded under different names, but if King Crimson want to continue being greedy jews and grooveshark shuts down I’ll just switch to some torrenting service.

    Reply
    • Jonathan

      I have to think that part of the reason music is so freely stolen is that there is a disconnect between people who steal music and those who make it. Those who steal it are just swiping a file, a digital nothing that feels like no one is being stolen from. Those who make the music being stolen usually invest their entire lives into creating that music. A song might last only a few minutes but how many hours went into creating it? Because a music file isn’t a physical thing, a hot dog, a car, a $100 bill somehow it’s ok to steal it. After all it’s just music for christs sake. But I’ll bet if these very same thieves found someone in their garage stealing their motorcycle they’d be mad as hell, scream like crazy and call the cops. To use the comment above as an example: “but if King Crimson want to continue being greedy jews…” Aside from being offensive for obvious reasons somehow an artist is greedy when they object to having their property stolen and are called greedy. That’s mind blowing to me, that you can be so callous and greedy that you object when the artist protects their property and their rights. Talk about irony, the thief calling the victim greedy when the thief can’t help himself to the lively hood of the artist for free. Now that’s greed.

      Reply
  27. Dan o Shanter

    My POV on this whole issue is that it is absolutely wrong to try to copy whole albums for free in one go, but if someone wants to go to the trouble of putting together an album one track at a time from free download or streaming services, I really don’t see the difference between that and tape-recording various songs off the FM radio in the pre-Net days until you have assembled a mixtape that contains all the songs from your favorite album or albums. Unfortunately, I suspect that in most cases, trying to implement this one will find that all the providers on the Web offer the exact same song (most popular, mainstream, commercially successful track).

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Verify Your Humanity *