Grooveshark argues that we should wait for the real judge, jury, and executioner, especially given the presence of multiple court battles and lawsuits on this very issue. Which is ironic, because Google often argues the exact same thing, while typically declining to play copyright cop.
Which brings us to this: the term “Grooveshark” has now been added to Google’s list of scrubbed piracy terms, according to information confirmed by the search giant to Digital Music News on Thursday.
So far, this just affects search autocomplete, not main results, which sounds more like an appeasement to pissed-off labels than something with teeth. “Our algorithms prevent terms closely associated with piracy from popping in Autocomplete,” a Google executive told Digital Music News. “Note this doesn’t affect search results, only Autocomplete — we’re not removing anything from search results or blocking searches for certain terms.”
Exactly when this started is unclear, though Torrentfreak (which first noticed the block) thinks this started several months ago. We’re waiting for Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino to respond.
All of which means that, for now, Google won’t assist users searching for free music on Grooveshark. Sort of like another word ‘closely associated with piracy’…
Most other word and phrases are autocompleted based on search volumes and expected next letters.
But, blacklist? The question is whether this is more symbolic than real. Because lift one more finger and type one more letter, and a myriad of Grooveshark possibilities appear.
Let’s see if Google decides to rough Grooveshark up a bit more. Back in 2011, Google yanked Grooveshark’s app from its Android Marketplace. That, coupled with Apple’s refusal to include the iOS app, has severely crippled Grooveshark against label-supported services like Spotify and YouTube.
Grooveshark remains in heavy litigation against all three major labels (and, for that matter, locked in a related subpoena battle with Digital Music News.)
More as it develops.