Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement…

groovesharkcase1

 

If you’re a Grooveshark user, you should probably start backing up your collection.  In a decision released Monday, the United States District Court in Manhattan has found Grooveshark guilty of massive copyright infringement based on a preponderance of internal emails, statements from former top executives, direct evidence from internal logs, and willfully deleted files and source code.

Specifically, CEO Samuel Tarantino and co-founder and CTO Josh Greenberg will face the heaviest charges, which remain to be determined.  The others were just scared rats: earlier, a number of top Grooveshark executives were removed from the defendant list in a settlement agreement, which now appears part of a clever exchange for cooperation.  Oh and did they talk…

Major label plaintiffs and other music companies, led by Universal Music Group, pushed for a summary judgment last week.  That judgment has now mostly been granted, which basically means Grooveshark has just lost in a very serious way and will probably go away soon.

The court was presented with piles of evidence that Grooveshark not only knew about infringing content on its site (who wouldn’t), but willfully uploaded infringing content onto its servers and ordered employees to do the same or face penalties.  That was the assertion of a lengthy, anonymous email that appeared on Digital Music News in late 2011, which itself led to a lengthy, three-year legal battle between Grooveshark and DMN over the identity of the poster.  Grooveshark lost that battle and never got to touch DMN’s servers, but Grooveshark lead attorney John Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Giger asserted that the statements contained in the comment were false and could not have been made by a Grooveshark employee.

Now, the evidence suggests that the information in that comment wasn’t far off.  “[Former Grooveshark executives] made it very clear that all employees were expected to upload as much music as possible into the Grooveshark system, including the most popular and current songs,” the decision stated.

“Escape directed its employees to obtain and make available the content necessary to launch Grooveshark.  More specifically, Escape instructed its employees and officers to create Grooveshark user accounts and to store hundreds of thousands of digital music files on their computers in order to upload or ‘seed’ copies of these files to other  Grooveshark users.”

The decision contained damning emails and testimony, including this instructive mailed by Tarantino to all employees in 2007:

“Please share as much music as possible from outside the office, and leave your computers on whenever you can. This initial content is what will help to get our network started—it’s very important that we all help out! If you have available hard drive space on your computer, I strongly encourage you to fill it with any music you can find. Download as many MP3’s as possible, and add them to the folders you’re sharing on Grooveshark. Some of us are setting up special “seed points” to house tens or even hundreds of thousands of files, but we can’t do this alone…

 

There is no reason why ANYONE in the company should not be able to  do this, and I expect everyone to have this done by Monday… IF I DON’T HAVE AN EMAIL FROM YOU IN MY INBOX BY MONDAY, YOU’RE ON MY OFFICIAL SHIT LIST.”

Grooveshark’s user logs also showed massive amounts of illegal uploading, or ‘seeding’, by Grooveshark employees.  That was confirmed not only by the logs themselves, but by expert analysis provided by Audible Magic.  Even more damning, large portions of the database and associated records were deleted, which is a giant red flag in these types of cases.

“Escape’s deletion of the uploading records of Greenberg and other users was intentional and performed after Escape had received specific notice to preserve these records,” the court concluded.

All of which is ironic given that Grooveshark demanded that Digital Music News preserve massive portions of data, even while they were deleting their own.  Perhaps more seriously, the evidence introduces the question of exactly what Grooveshark attorneys at Rosenberg & Giger and McPherson Rane knew when they were telling judges in California that the information contained in Digital Music News’ comment section was false.

Grooveshark attorney John Rosenberg has just told Reuters and the New York Times that Grooveshark (and parent company Escape Media Group) may appeal the decision.

The full decision is here.

 

 

168 Responses

    • Anonymous

      music stealing is a phase.
      If google was not stealing your data and sending it
      To the NSA they would be in court. The helpless position
      Americans find themselves in is due to the Casual way they allow crimes to
      Happen to other Americans. It is the same country so of course if you can do it on the south side
      You can do it anywhere.

      Reply
  1. Eric

    Paul, I am a big fan of your music blog but I must say you missed it with this one, bud. I am a practicing attorney in LA/NYC who produces music on the side. Grooveshark is a great service that is out to help all the aspiring up and coming artists like myself succeed. Since I’ve been on Grooveshark promoting my music, I’ve been able to reach an active audience of listeners and receive instant feedback from users. Their Broadcast product is the future of streaming. You clearly have no idea how the politics of the legal system work… especially in the modern day music industry. Furthermore, with all your knowledge of the industry, you sadly don’t have the vision of where this streaming space is heading …would have thought a Stanford education was sufficient for identifying trends in sectors… I suppose a Berkeley education might have prepared you better for the real world, sir.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “Grooveshark is a great service that is out to help all the aspiring up and coming artists”

      lol

      Reply
      • Duke Patrol

        Their objective was to make themselves rich. I knew Sam
        From the very beginning . Started out as a nice kid from college. Ended up just like everybody else looking for the money. I also love the I’m an attorney but I do music on the side bit. Don’t get me at the commenting on that one

        Reply
    • Versus

      How exactly do the positive benefits of a streaming service justify its massive copyright infringement?
      These are two separate issues.

      Reply
      • Tommy Truck

        Oh Boy . . . Microsoft (X-Box) has 400 billion in cash, Apple (Beat Music) has 600 billion in cash and you talk about the “benefits of streaming” ? ? You can down load my album on the Windows 8 Music App. and I get Nothing.

        Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Eric, there are actually laws involved here, and in all honesty, it doesn’t sound like you read the article, or the decision. I’m going to post the decision in about 5 minutes. I think you might change your opinion on the matter.

      Reply
    • Music Industry professional

      Apparently you law education has gone to waste. You must not be a music or entertainment attorney, and if you are, I feel sorry for your clients. Two words for you: COPYRIGHT LAW. For heaven’s sake it doesn’t matter how you want the music to be directed or how you think it will be in the future: if you steal music, you steal some writer or artists lively hood. Good grief.

      Reply
      • Gil

        I don’t know what Lawyer in the world do not know that this is stealing. Plain and simple.
        If the creator of the music works went by the Law to create the works and ownership .
        If you take it, The Law say’s that’s stealing. Some of these comments make you think what kind of people we are
        giving Degree’s to.

        Reply
    • Obie

      “Grooveshark is a great service that is out to help all the aspiring up and coming artists like myself succeed.”
      ———————————–

      Thanks for the laugh!

      Reply
    • hippydog

      Quote”I am a practicing attorney in LA/NYC who produces music on the side. Grooveshark is a great service that is out to help all the aspiring up and coming artists like myself succeed.”

      A lawyer who also makes music and thinks Grooveshark will help him succeed????!!!!
      I call BullShit on this one..
      Post ONE fricken song that we can listen too.. one…

      Reply
    • Spoken X Digital Media Group

      I don’t think . Paul , missed one thing. Before you publicly claim in a list that these are your label partners you need to have a respectable agreement in place.

      Reply
    • Anthony

      You sir, are an idiot. As a real attorney, and a record label, it is painfully obvious that GrooveShark cared about one thing – it’s valuation. If you ever tried to pull down content from GrooveShark then you know it was virtually impossible. The flouted the DMCA. They are thieves and it’s awesome that their founders were found personally liable.

      Reply
    • JBW

      No other profession in the world would give their product away for free and think it’s a good thing. If people want your music they should pay for it AND you can’t build a business on copyright infringement. It’s called stealing.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “you can’t build a business on copyright infringement”

        It works very well for The Pirate Bay, Google and most ISPs, though. 🙁

        Reply
    • Danny Nova From Nashville

      Eric,

      You have really annoyed me with your comment. Not because of your opinion but because you boast to be an attorney and musician, and it appears that you have no regard for those of us who had once depended on, and still do, the selling of our CD and tracks to pay for recording costs. I assume, and correct me if my assumption is wrong, that you have an income as an attorney, and you probably fund most, if not all of your recording costs from such income. ???

      However, most musicians that have been playing music since childhood, like I have at 6 years old, made a decision as a child to pursue a music career and not apply to law school as a back up. I will continue … You should already be aware by now that Illegal downloading and file sharing has ruined the music business, and has cost many, their once fruitful jobs.

      I am hoping that you don’t respond, telling me that you are or once were a music attorney and have worked for a music label or music publishing company, because I wont believe you. Nor will anyone else reading this who actually has. So please, lets keep in real and not go into defend mode.

      In closing, I suggest that you secure a job at SONY music publishing in Nashville so that you would have the opportunity to experience both sides of the spectrum and learn a bit more on the subject matter. If you want a contact there, I would be more than happy to forward such.

      Thank you for letting me vent on you today.

      Danny Nova

      (PS, You may find me on facebook to make contact)

      Reply
    • MickeyMac

      Oh, so the “fact” that it served the purposes of you, a “part-time” or “some-time” dilettante of an “artist” means the courts – and the world – should ignore the fact that Grooveshark screwed thousands of other full time artists? I am an attorney, and I am shocked by your comment.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    “Now, the evidence suggests that the comment wasn’t so far off”

    OK, now we need a couple of Mountain View whistleblowers to tell us the truth about Google piracy:

    “So you’re saying this Pirate Bay we recommend 10 million times every day is a CRIMINAL site? Gee whiz, how were we to know? I’m, like, shocked!”

    Erik Zchmitt, Google

    Reply
  3. Versus

    Disgusting behavior of Grooveshark.
    May they all go to jail, and lose every penny to pay penalties back, which should then be distributed to intellectual property rights holders.

    Good job reporting on this, DMN.

    I disagree that users should hide their Grooveshark content elsewhere; an end-user who believes the content he/she acquired from Grooveshark is infringing should instead delete it.

    Reply
    • jw

      >> which should then be distributed to intellectual property rights holders.

      If by rights holders you mean artists, I wouldn’t hold my breath for that one. The real winners here are the attorneys.

      Also, you don’t acquire content from Grooveshark. Have you never used Grooveshark? Pretty harsh words coming from someone who doesn’t seem familiar with the product.

      Reply
      • FarePlay

        If you’ve never killed anyone, what right do you have to talk about murderers? That’s even less informed of a statement as the music of the seventies was over-rated.

        The things people will say, simply to make a point, often demonstrates just how little they care about the facts or reality for that matter. The need to have an opinion just to have an opinion colors everything one says.

        Reply
          • FarePlay

            jw Monday, September 29, 2014

            A lot of people would’ve called the flash & pomp of your favorite era, the 1970s, the “entertainment industry.” In fact, an argument could be made that we’re simply returning to that after hip hop and grunge changed things up for a bit.

        • jw

          You’re going to need to separate my criticisms of your baby boomer exceptionalist recollection of the ’70s, & my criticisms of your ignorance of modern music, from the actual music of the ’70s, which I haven’t been criticizing.

          I’ve been criticizing you, specifically, not the music of the ’70s. A lot of my favorite music is from the ’70s.

          Reply
      • Versus

        Yes, I am idealistic in my belief that penalties to infringers should at least remunerate rights-holders (artists, writers, composers, publishers, labels, etc) who are infringed.

        No, I have not used Grooveshark. I understand it to be a streaming service which allows playlists and does store local content for offline listening. In this sense content is “acquired”. So yes, an end-user of any service, download or streaming, who believes/realizes the content is infringing should remove it or any links and playlist references to it from their devices.

        As for my harsh judgment, I am basing that on the behavior described in this article, wherein the company itself encouraged infringement. If the article is inaccurate, or I misinterpreted it, then I retract that judgement.

        Cheers.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “Yes, I am idealistic in my belief that penalties to infringers should at least remunerate rights-holders”

          I don’t know if you are aware of this, but jw happens to be one of those criminals…

          Reply
          • Versus

            No, I am not aware of this….but if so, I am also idealistic in my belief that criminals can always go straight, and sinners can become saints.

          • Anonymous

            Cool — I can respect that.

            Unfortunately, I’m not that idealistic myself. 🙂 I just want the suckers to pay.

          • jw

            >> I don’t know if you are aware of this, but jw happens to
            >> be one of those criminals…

            Gross mischaracterization.

          • FarePlay

            “The Grooveshark catalog was terribly unreliable… mislabeled songs, incomplete albums, out of wack track ordering… if you were a Grooveshark fan, you should be over the moon for Spotify…”

            JW

        • jw

          This is fair. I hadn’t considered offline mobile use… I think Paul was referring to collections/playlists, which aren’t in & of themselves infringing.

          This brings up an interesting point… will the app continue to work if the company shuts down (not sure if it’s subscription-based, like the desktop app)? And will users simply be able to cache their entire collection & use the app indefinitely in offline mode, like an iPod?

          I think the ruling is correct, but this is touchy because the YouTube guys did the same thing starting out, & now they’re largely supported by the music industry, & have a fairly clean copyright record. The only difference is that YouTube was either able to or willing to “go legit.” So on the one hand there is the infringement, & on the other hand there is the rights holders’ refusal (during the aughts, at least) to support these burgeoning technologies. And ultimately the content industries’ refusal to acknowledge the forward march of technological progress hurts everyone. If some kind of tiered pricing model for digital music (as a segue into a streaming platform), were launched before piracy reached critical mass, Grooveshark likely never would’ve even existed.

          That said, I think the sentencing ought to be left up to the judge, who has heard both arguments.

          On a related note, just yesterday the total damages from the MP3Tunes judgment were reduced from $40m down to around $10m. I’d be surprised if the Grooveshark damages don’t end up in the same ballpark. I could see more damages being awarded if the recorded music industry had a better record of being proactive about this stuff, but they tend to act more like vultures, or very reluctant dance partners at best.

          Reply
  4. rikki

    Ever notice how not one black person ever got sued by the RIAA, or by anyone else for stealing files….they still sell HD full of mp3 on ebay and CL…..so this has always been a racial issue to me but lawyers were too gutless to attack it that way.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Time for the other streaming services to get on the ball. If Grooveshark shuts down there will be millions of orphaned users looking for another streaming service. Most likely the free streaming services like Spotify and Rdio stand the gain the most.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      I’m not so sure that Grooveshark will leave such a void. Already, we’ve seen a massive competitive stab by Spotify and YouTube; I’m not even sure that Grooveshark would have survived long-term even without the legal problems. But that’s all conjecture.

      Reply
    • jim

      I will be one of those sad to see Grooveshark go. I buy music I like, but I need tools to help me find the music I like, and almost none of what I like is mainstream. That means Spotify, not much help. Not a lot of Japanese anime music on Spotify. Youtube is a little better in terms of catalog, but it is designed as a video player, not as a music playlist / radio. To me at least, there will be a void. In the long running Grooveshark debate, users like me are always left out of the conversation. I am not stealing music. I am using Grooveshark to find music I like. I listen to it for a bit (usually a few weeks on a playlist), and if I’m still enjoying it, I go off to a store (Amazon, Apple, or just physical CD) and buy it. Then the legal copy of the downloaded song ends up on my mobile devices. I don’t want to buy music first, then decide if I like it. I don’t want to buy it based on a 30 second snippet. Grooveshark’s combination of playlist support, playing all by an artist or on an album, and radio mode, were (already I’m using past tense) perfect for someone shopping for music to buy. It will be a loss for users like me, and also to the artists whose songs I won’t ever hear without similar service, to buy.

      Reply
      • Anon

        I agree, I used Grooveshark as a way to find music. Pandora is a great substitute to finding new music, and the ads don’t bother me as much. Spotify is mostly used for listening to playlist, and Youtube, as you said, is more of a video player than music. I will miss Grooveshark, it’s a shame they had this problem, but, as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” RIP 2015 Grooveshark

        Reply
        • An Interested Party

          Hi there,

          There’s hope after all. 🙂 Unlike a lot of posters here, I didn’t rely primarily on Grooveshark (more like an occasional supplement) so the loss is not is as great for me, but I wanted to suggest something that so far hasn’t come up, and is sometimes misrepresented, IMHO.

          In the note left on the Grooveshark main page, there was a link to a site that lists a wide variety of music services. I immediately looked for Rdio, and it was there, but the descriptions of its two services were not much different. So a user myself, may I suggest Rdio? To my knowledge, its catalog is quite extensive, its tracks/albums rarely mislabeled (which was one of Grooveshark’s obvious faults), and its layout clean and crisp.

          Unlike Grooveshark, one has to make an account with Rdio, but all they ask for is a user name and email address — later, more details can be added as desired. The free service is supported by 30-second audio (instead of visual) ads; the premium (“Rdio Unlimited”) version is ad-free. Personally, I just mute the speaker during the ads 🙂 and enjoy making playlists and listening to my heart’s content. No one paid for this post… I just think Rdio deserves more praise because all in all its service is very good.

          All the best!

          Reply
  6. Remi Swierczek

    Google, Shazam or Soundhound music and lyric ID services a far more devastating to music industry than Groveshark but live in IDIOTIC synergy with RIAA and labels!

    Someone, PLEASE, explain this alien psychology!

    Reply
  7. DrJayCole

    Okay… I’m also an artist. I’m signed to a label, we make money off of our internet sales, it would suck to have them displayed (against our own marketing strategies) for free online.
    BUT… anyone who listens to music online, was NOT going to go pay any $ to listen to that song to begin with.
    I have used GrooveShark at social gatherings before, and i can clearly tell you that nobody in any party i have ever been to, would pay any money to listen to the songs we listened to on grooveshark, or youtube, or whatever other site is out there… this is the largest misconception/LIE that the record companies are arguing against. They feel a potential loss of revenue when in fact, in reality, in practice, we would NOT go and pay anything to listen to that stupid Elton John song we played only for hillarious nostalgic reasons, we just wouldnt listen to it! Nor would we pay for 99% of what we listen to… There was a time when people traveled around with their own tapes, then cd’s, then their own usb sticks, their own ipods/phones etc to parties to supply the music, if we cant stream it, we’ll go back to bringing our own with us, and that can easily happen again! Once all the record companies do away with all the streaming sites, only then will they notice their revenues have not changed!

    Reply
    • David

      You remind me of the old joke: two old ladies sitting in a restaurant, one says to the other ‘I don’t know why we keep coming here. The service is slow and the food is terrible.’ ‘Yes’, says the other, ‘and such small portions’.

      If people take the trouble to download or stream music from a pirate service like Grooveshark, there is a presumption that it has *some* value to them. They might not value it enough to pay the full retail price, but in an efficient market there would be some way for the providers of the music to extract payment for it, e.g. by rental. Which is in effect what a legitimate streaming service like Spotify does. The tired old excuse ‘I wouldn’t have bought it anyway’ used to have some shred of justification , but it no longer does now that streaming services exist.

      Reply
    • hippydog

      Quote “anyone who listens to music online, was NOT going to go pay any $ to listen to that song to begin with.”

      So you have polled the entire internet and have come up with this conclusion..?

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    “Grooveshark attorney John Rosenberg has just told Reuters that Grooveshark (and parent company Escape Media Group) will appeal the decision.”

    I wouldn’t do that… 🙂

    FROM THE DECISION

    Tarantino is the Chief Executive Officer and Greenberg is the Chief Technology Officer. […] They both directed the infringements at issue in the present litigation by:

    (1) creating a business model that was based upon the unlicensed sharing of copyright protected material […]

    (2) sending written instructions to the entire company requiring employees to operate “seeding points” so that they could launch the Grooveshark P2P Network, […]

    (3) creating the Central Music Library and directing employees to upload files to the Library, […]

    (4) deciding to launch the Grooveshark Lite streaming service and instructing Escape employees to upload files for that service, […] and

    (5) personally uploading copyrighted protected material […].

    Moreover, they both have a substantial equity interest in Groovershark and thus, directly benefit from the infringing activity. […]

    Accordingly, the court finds that Tarantino and Greenberg are jointly and severally liable with Escape for direct and secondary copyright infringement.

    Finally, the court also finds that defendants and Greenberg are direct infringers of plaintiffs’ work based on their uploads of copyrighted files to Grooveshark. […] Here, Tarantino and Greenberg each uploaded copies of plaintiffs’ copyrighted works to Grooveshark.

    Defendants produced records demonstrating that Tarantino personally uploaded copyrighted sound recordings to Grooveshark. […] “

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “a business model that was based upon the unlicensed sharing of copyright protected material”

      So let’s see, what’s Google’s business model based on again?

      Last time I checked, Google had posted more than 10 million free ads for The Pirate Bay on its website.

      And what are most ISPs’ business models based on?

      Unlicensed sharing of billions of copyright protected files.

      Somebody needs to take Google and the ISPs to court — now!

      Reply
  9. Ms. Poon

    The problem I have with Grooveshark is that they make it impossible for independent artists and independent labels to keep their releases of that fucking site. And, worse, Grooveshark misleads their users who are trying to get content down by threatening them with legal action.
    I have had to repeatedly send DMCA notifications for the same content. I’ll get a release down from the site and it’ll go back up within 48 hrs! It is impossible for an independent label to manage. I simply do not have the resources to do it.
    So fuck Grooveshark! They are an enemy of independent artists and labels. They refuse to pay any mechanicals and they refuse to keep your releases off their site. They are ethically bankrupt and run by selfish, idiot technologists. I hate these fucking guys who think they’re smart while they’re missing the big picture. Deceptive, egomaniacal morons.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “I have had to repeatedly send DMCA notifications for the same content”

      Just like Google.

      “I’ll get a release down from the site and it’ll go back up within 48 hrs! It is impossible for an independent label to manage”

      Just like Google.

      “They are an enemy of independent artists and labels.”

      Just like Google.

      “They are ethically bankrupt and run by selfish, idiot technologists”

      Just like…

      Reply
      • Ms. Poon

        Sounds like you’re in agreement with me: Grooveshark is a scam organization that deserves to go down. I cannot tell you how glad I am to see them lose in court. For me, this is a victory for the underdogs: the indies who don’t have the resources to take them to court.

        Reply
      • DS6

        Google is only an aggregate of search results when it comes to that, though I’m by no means defending them.

        Reply
  10. Rokk Lattanzio

    “Another one bites the dust
    Another one bites the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust
    Hey, I’m gonna get you, too
    Another one bites the dust” – John Deacon.

    Reply
  11. Ms. Poon

    Here’s copy taken from the Grooveshark site where they threaten you with legal action if you submit a DMCA notification:

    “Also, before proceeding please understand that should you knowingly materially misrepresent that a product or activity is infringing your copyrights, you may be held liable for damages. In a recent case, a company was held liable for over $100,000 for seeking removal of content that was protected by the fair use doctrine. The details can be found at http://www.onlinepolicy.org/action/legpolicy/opg_v_diebold/.”

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      The first part of their disclaimer is fair, imo. Web services have to protect themselves against false take-downs.

      But the threat in the second part is disgusting, and it clearly shows what kind of company we’re dealing with here.

      Reply
  12. Ms. Poon

    Additionally, it looks like they’ve recently made their DMCA process as overwhelming and unnavigatable as possible. I do remember previously they tried to dissuade anyone from requesting a takedown by suggesting that all digital distributors delivered to them, but not all made it clear, so anyone thinking about submitting a DMCA nitifivpcation should first read their distribution contracts. Most independent artists wouldn’t know any better and would be scared off by these tactics, so, again: I am REALLY glad to see Grooveshark go down. Fuck those guys. They could’ve made a site that favored indie artists, but instead chose to steal from them.

    The best thing about this lawsuit is that no one is going to buy this shitty company while this legal action is happening.

    Reply
  13. Sina Simontob

    Sam, Josh, just remember my favorite story related to our case is the story of a kid who appears in front of the judge for sentencing for the crime of having murdered both his parents saying judge have mercy on me cuz I am an orphan. This is your moment to shine!

    PS: I run an enneagram on the judge and its says his a 9 – we’re gonna win for sure.

    Reply
    • WOW

      This comment is the biggest winner here. It’s so good I’m not sure Sina didn’t actually write it. Keep that heart healthy!

      Reply
  14. Sina Simantob

    I always said that the spouting whale gets the harpoon. I omitted the part about me being Captain Ahab and stealing your harpoon when the whale attacked the boat. Deuces!

    Reply
  15. hank@nv.net

    Dear Anonymous Google Hater,

    Yes, Google does all that nasty ripoff shit. However, that is slightly not all Google does.

    How is the Grooveshark “Map”? “Docs”? “Earth”? “Calendar”? “Search”? Etc.

    Google sucks badly in the pirating leads department, but the company has a couple of other features it offers us.

    I presume when you search you never use Google, as that would seem to be a gross violation of your own personal sense of ethics. Therefrom I also assume you do not watch YouTube.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “Google sucks badly in the pirating leads department”

      …costing billions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands jobs.

      Reply
    • jj

      …’i murdered 17 people last week, but that’s ok… for I put a quarter in the homeless man’s cup on the way home’… Fuck Grooveshark, fuck Google.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Cars want 2b free too, you know. That’s why they’ve got wheels.

      Please post your credit card information & mail address/passwords, btw.

      Reply
  16. nik green

    OK, Grooveshark is a piracy organization – we all knew that. Spotify’s next. But UMG are just as bad, if not worse; it’s just they have a larger army of lawyers to screw, defraud and scam artists and deny them their royalties and fudging sales figures.

    Reply
  17. the dones

    LOL. What a hilarious comment thread. As if anyone thinks a site is needed to exchange files freely, ‘illegally’ (keep in mind the monsters/psychopaths who write our legislation). Let me give you an example: Around 2004 I was introduced to the work of Bonnie ”Prince” Billy (Will Oldham) via an ‘illegal’ P2P file-sharing network. This included my simple ‘illegal’ download of 4 or so of his copyright-protected albums, and several live bootlegs. I became addicted and subsequently obsessed with his work. Since I have spent no less than $10,000 buying his releases and merchandise while attending 21 shows. Seriously, accept the reality that no matter how many Groovesharks go down, free music by any artist is always readily available. Always. And this will not change going forward for anyone with any tech savvy at all. Quality art, live performance, and physical merchandise will always wins in the end. As do Natural Rights over Statutory Rights drawn up by criminals. LOL, this is hilarious to me, as if any artists’ entire catalogue is not readily available via dozens of avenues…

    Reply
  18. Thelma Harcum

    Thanks for informing all about this issue of Artist Copyright infringement. In this electronic world, much is at stake of musicians ever having a good livelihood from their creative efforts and rights. Stealing the such works is surely to affect the future of art and innovation. The incentives to create are greatly affected.

    Being a musician is like being a inventor. Losing your rights for the gains of others should not be the plan. If you loose the right to own your own house continually, why should you keep building or buy another.
    We will all pay for the homelessness of others if we don’t know the reason why?

    Thank you again for sharing this information.
    Thelma Harcum, Musician, Artist, etc.

    Reply
    • the dones

      I am also a published artist. The reason to continue building your house is because of the intrinsic value of doing so, as opposed to that process being a means to an end. I understand this process is difficult in modern US society. My main point is that any artist who appeared on Grooveshark (which I’d never even heard of until today) should be outraged against this court decision. Why? Because now your art is exposed to fewer people than it was before. If you think you can prevent your art from being freely downloaded via the internet, now or for the rest of your lives, then you are not thinking clearly. Producing quality art, playing live shows, and making physical merchandise available to your fanbase is your only possible path to sustaining your livelihood as an artist. I think the average fan is being debased here – as if the average fan will not support an artist via their own free will. My experience says a fan will. Of course there are thieves, so what? That’s not a new concept. But there are more fans who will gladly pay for quality work.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “who brought down Grooveshark”

        Good point! I’ll try and remember that the next time Paul invites Rick Falkvinge to spread his anti-music propaganda on DMN.

        Seriously, this goes a long, long way.

        Reply
        • NonPaul

          Paul didn’t bring down Grooveshark. They did this to themselves. DMN was always focused on publishing the drama. Any journalist could have done real damage a long time ago and none of them did.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            “DMN was always focused on publishing the drama”

            Yes, the strategy is to let Nina, Ari and Falkvinge publish their anti-music click-bait and add the occasional pro-music story to justify the name of the site and make sure it attracts pirates as well as music lovers and gives them something to discuss.

            But I’m a pretty result-oriented guy, and these articles not only kills Grooveshark, they also bring attention to the fact that companies like Google make fortunes from very similar business models.

            And there have been other extremely useful stories in DMN as well — Google’s leaked YouTube contract comes to mind, and that was huge!

    • suomynona

      If Grooveshark closes its doors will Digital Music News as well? That’s the only reason I ever come to this site. Other than the Grooveshark articles the content here is rather humdrum and forgettable.

      Reply
  19. Writer-Musician

    Do you cocksuckers realize what it costs to produce a piece of music???? Where in your thick fucking skull do you not understand that music should NOT be free? Do you work at your job and not expect to be paid for what you do? I hope they start tracking all downloads and start putting assholes in jail who download music freely.

    Reply
    • the dones

      I fully understand the costs of producing many forms of art, including a piece of music. I am not arguing that music should be free, I’m simply stating the reality that your music is free to anyone with 2 neurons left in their brain and an internet connection. It’s a fact that must be accepted is all. If you create art worthy of monetization, you will be compensated. Tracking all downloads and jailing those who steal music simply will not happen, it’s an impossibility for the foreseeable future. Until you accept this fact you will be frustrated endlessly. It’s best to take advantage of the circumstances and make everyone possible aware of the art you are creating, thereby creating your fanbase.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      “I hope they start tracking all downloads and start putting assholes in jail who download music freely.”

      Well, I’d rather let them pay. Each stolen song is worth $150,000 after all.

      But I know what you mean, and I’m seriously tempted to change my mind whenever they show up here and actually expect us to talk to them after they’ve stolen our property. jw is a example of that.

      And I mean, wtf…

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “Each stolen song is worth $150,000”

        …and Grooveshark employees were encouraged to upload 5,977 stolen tracks, haha. 🙂

        Die, shark!

        Reply
  20. Mr G

    I applaud the decision as an entrepreneur in the space and as a lover of music. While this is edifying in some ways, it does nothing to address the larger issue. Grooveshark et al only went down because of their flagrantly illegal behaviour. Grooveshark as it exists today could have continued on course under the protection of the DMCA had they not gone too far (way too far as it turns out). The environment for legal but unlicensed services exists with Google’s search / lead gen being the most notorious example.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Great comment. Exactly, if Grooveshark had decided to play by the rules, and that means not telling employees to upload popular music to seed the site, then they might have actually survived. Grooveshark, run in a clean manner, could have been the YouTube for audio.

      It didn’t work out that way, but the reason is execution. If Grooveshark had played by the rules and actually prevailed, you’d see a tidal wave of similar music startups and apps emerge, all predicated around DMCA protections.

      It would have dramatically altered the industry.

      Reply
      • jw

        Just as easily as Grooveshark could’ve been the YouTube for audio, YouTube could’ve suffered this same fate if they hadn’t been bought by Google. That is where their narratives stray… YouTube had the resources not to scrape all of the illegally uploaded content from the site, but to MONETIZE it.

        In the end, this isn’t about who uploaded what, or who had permissions for this or that or the other. It’s about profits, & Grooveshark wasn’t delivering profits for the labels, so the labels are now extracting those profits punitively.

        The real shame here is that artists aren’t likely to see a dime.

        Reply
      • FarePlay

        We did, it’s called Spotify and they didn’t even have to hire lawyers to protect their business under the guise of Safe Harbor. It was sites like Napster, Pirate Bay, Grooveshark, etc. that paved the way for the music industry to collapse and nearly give their product away.

        Reply
        • jw

          Nothing was given to Spotify. On the contrary, Spotify negotiated for years with major labels, who made out like bandits. If the industry wanted to keep Spotify out of the U.S. indefinitely, they could have.

          Get your facts straight, Mister Jones.

          Reply
          • FarePlay

            “If the industry wanted to keep Spotify out of the U.S. indefinitely, they could have.”

            Finally a real insight I can agree with. Now it is up to the artist to get it right, as it should be.

      • Anonymous

        “It would have dramatically altered the industry”

        Indeed — for the worse. “DMCA protection” is a classic contradiction in terms.

        Reply
      • Rowdy

        You are right here Paul. But I’d go farther. It didn’t matter that Grooveshark broke the rules at first. They started in 2007. It wasn’t that long ago, but you could get away with a lot more then. The market was immature. The problem is that they didn’t start to play by the rules when the market started to mature and consolidate. They had the chance. They were the market leader. If they would have paid the blood money and come clean, it would be Grooveshark in the headlines over Spotify.

        Reply
  21. Jefferson Thomas

    Best part: the whining little needle-dick who responds:”I am a practicing attorney in LA/NYC who produces music on the side. (that says it all – don’t quit your day job, loser!) Since I’ve been on Grooveshark promoting my music, I’ve been able to reach an active audience of listeners and receive instant feedback from users.” I guess that justifies theft of intellectual property on a mass scasle. What a complete moron.

    Reply
  22. Ms Poon

    Grooveshark is not like Google, in so far as they created a system where they were re uploading material that they took down following receipt of DMCA notifications:

    “Finally, senior Escape employees went so far as to restock popular sound recordings that had been removed following DMCA takedown notices.”

    I believe that they created an automated system for re uploading releases following DMCA notification takedowns. They’re programmers and re uploading that content manually would be completely inefficient and would contradict a programmer’s mindset. And why else would they have destroyed their site source code??

    Now I wish someone would sue them for their ironic mustaches!

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “Grooveshark is not like Google, in so far as they created a system where they were re uploading material that they took down following receipt of DMCA notifications”

      Ms Poon, I agree with you in everything you say about Grooveshark, but Google is exactly like Grooveshark for all practical purposes: You have to send the same take-downs to Google every day, for the same content, on the same sites.

      “Take Down” belongs to the past. What we need now is “Stay Down!”

      Reply
  23. Shane Tierney

    The sad news is it’s taken how many years of litigation and millions in legal fees to accomplish this?

    Reply
  24. Cord Pereira

    Go Universal. Sounds like the corporate veil is going to be speared into these guys. The tech world thinks IP refers to their software, not the music. Wrong!

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “The tech world thinks IP refers to their software”

      I actually once had an Intellectual Property discussion with a tech guy who thought IP referred to ‘Internet Protocol’.

      True story. 🙂

      Reply
  25. Ellen Shipley

    Now–if we could only get out government to prosecute the MOTHER OF ALL EVILS—GOOGLE DOGS—–every other country as brought charges against them…..But here—the pockets are deep and the money is plentiful

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “if we could only get out government to prosecute the MOTHER OF ALL EVILS—GOOGLE”

      Amen to that!

      Reply
  26. Danny Nova+From+Nashville

    Eric,

    You have really annoyed me with your comment. Not because of your opinion but because you boast to be an attorney and musician, and it appears that you have no regard for those of us who had once depended on, and still do, the selling of our CD and tracks to pay for recording costs. I assume, and correct me if my assumption is wrong, that you have an income as an attorney, and you probably fund most, if not all of your recording costs from such income. ???

    However, most musicians that have been playing music since childhood, like I have at 6 years old, made a decision as a child to pursue a music career and not apply to law school as a back up. I will continue … You should already be aware by now that Illegal downloading and file sharing has ruined the music business, and has cost many, their once fruitful jobs.

    I am hoping that you don’t respond, telling me that you are or once were a music attorney and have worked for a music label or music publishing company, because I wont believe you. Nor will anyone else reading this who actually has. So please, lets keep in real and not go into defend mode.

    In closing, I suggest that you secure a job at SONY music publishing in Nashville so that you would have the opportunity to experience both sides of the spectrum and learn a bit more on the subject matter. If you want a contact there, I would be more than happy to forward such.

    Thank you for letting me vent on you today.

    Danny Nova

    PS You may find me on facebook to make contact.

    Reply
  27. BWR

    So when do I get paid? Both my albums are on that crooked site. I doubt us Indie artists will get a dime only the fat cat labels will probably collect. Is ASCAP going to go to bat for its “smaller” artists?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I think you know the answer to your questions. If not, they are…never, and no.

      Reply
  28. Mr G

    I completely disagree with the comparisons between Grooveshark and Napster. Napster was at a much different time and there did seem to be something pure about mission. They were operating well before the lines had been drawn. They were open and honest. I don’t agree with what they did, but they weren’t “shady.” The execs at Grooveshark, however, were not open, nor were they honest and they were certainly shady.

    Reply
  29. John

    Musicians who have content worth listening to will build fans/audiences willing to pay for their content.. as well as performances and merchandise.

    All you whiny ‘indie artists and labels’ who think “poor me, streaming is making me poor”…guess what, bud, you made the decision to become an ARTIST and only TRUE TALENT THAT CONNECTS TO PEOPLE will prevail.

    Sucks to suck in the 21 Century… it’s ironic because the best chance you have of finding those fans/audiences is by getting your content out there to as many people as possible before your old and grumpy, living in the past of ‘what could have happened IF…’

    :X

    Reply
    • Ms. Poon

      My complaint against Grooveshark has nothing to do with the commercial viability of independent artists and independent artist-run labels. My complaint is that Grooveshark has been making a profit from knowingly stealing our music. It’s an ethical issue. And, now, it’s come to light that their response to receiving a DMCA notification is to remove the content and then immediately repost it! Given the passion that many artists put into their music, it’s a mystery why these Grooveshark guys haven’t been shot… especially since they all live in Florida, where murder is practically legal!

      Reply
      • Ron

        I didn’t think it was possible, but you somehow reveal yourself to be even more of a moron with each comment. Enjoy writing your reply, I probably won’t read it.

        Reply
  30. John

    GROOVE ON SAM AND JOSH … I really can’t wait to see the big labels give in at year end when their bonuses are on the table and they have the chance to make a multimillion dollar deal with Grooveshark and fill their selfish pockets.

    The labels are the real enemies, not the streaming services you idiots.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “GROOVE ON SAM AND JOSH”

      Yeah man, let’s rock — everybody in the whole cell block.

      Reply
    • ferb

      This makes no sense. The opinion is out. It isn’t getting overturned or withdrawn. If there was ever going to be a deal, it would have been in a settlement before summary judgement. It’s too late now. No one would fund a deal like that. It’s a company that is now open to infinite lawsuits over this issue by every artist, label, and publisher with a song on the site. It has no value as a going concern.

      Reply
  31. UK musician

    “Grooveshark is a great service that is out to help all the aspiring up and coming artists like myself succeed.”

    Having a laugh aren’t you? They are copyright thieves out to get rich.

    Reply
  32. medium size manager

    These guys are dicks and will exhaust every appeal. I don’t see this ending until they actually shut their doors. For over a year, every Monday I have an intern issue a takedown to Grooveshark for the same content for 2 artists. Every Monday. For a year.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      I spent nearly three years battling Grooveshark in court. I can’t say they are the most conciliatory, congenial guys; on numerous occasions I wondered whether they were pathologically ruthless. Especially their lawyers.

      Reply
  33. Nate R

    I understand that everyone needs to make money and that grooveshark wasn’t paying the record company for the content it was using, but music was created as an emotional vent; a way to release stress and tensions. It’s just downright sad and disgraceful of those piece of shit record executives to take the good intentions away from Grooveshark because they weren’t making money. It really makes me lose hope in humanity that people care more about a piece of government issue paper with NO REAL VALUE, than someones good intentions to make others happy. To samuel tarantino, and Joshua greenberg, lets just say you ought to be in a much less profitable situation than you are; and if there’s any justice on God’s good earth, you’ll be asking people for change on the street in a couple years. Fuck you, Corporate pieces of shit.

    Reply
  34. Lizzie N.

    Wow. Just wow.
    I am not a lawyer or a magician, just a music lover. I loved grooveshark, and found it very cool that I could actually choose what I was listening to. I’m not fond of Pandora, and grooveshark was what helped me go to sleep at night.
    But I knew nothing of this. That is just messed up. Even if I did find that the concept of grooveshark was pretty fantastic, nothing can justify stealing and cheating thousands of people out of their jobs. I really wish they hadn’t have done that, this makes me feel so bad about humans and people.
    My favorite music that I found on grooveshark might have been freaking STOLEN BY THEM?!
    I mean really?! Wtf grooveshark????!!!
    But still, I loved grooveshark, still do, and I hope that one day I will get my music back. That was one of the only things I ever had to look forward to, and now its gone. Listening to grooveshark was how I dealt with stuff, how I channeled my stupid emotions. Stupid sentiment. What the f-ing crap?

    Reply
  35. FUCK PAUL RESNIKOFF

    Grooveshark was a great way to listen to music. I have no stake in the industry. I simply recognize a usefull tool to find music with.

    Reply
  36. Anonymous

    If you were paying the monthly fee will it just stop charging You.?

    Reply
  37. Archguardian Angel

    Honestly Grooveshark was a huge help. As much as people are downing it for what happened with the Copy-write laws and so forth, this site has helped me and my other friends with stress relieving. As you know when you find something that helps its hard to not use it again. yes i must move on, but give the courtesy to the fans please.

    Some loved this site just for the pure fact it was quick and easy music. I think a deal could have been struck and maybe have them insure there was no copy-wright. A second chance, its not to hard. Though the law is the law, a great leader and provider knows when mercy will overcome law. Music can heal, so taking Groove shark took away the medication some needed.

    (note: Dont be that guy that comes out )Rude( and comments negatively on this)

    We love you Grooveshark, rest well. -love: Your greatest Fans

    Reply
  38. Nanto01

    UGH now I have to resort to sound cloud groove shark was much easier to use and handle there were less remix’s ¬_¬

    Reply
  39. FUCKYOU

    Thanks for fucking up the only job you had. YOU HAD ONE FUCKING JOB! NOW WHERE THE FUCK AM I GOING TO GO TO LISTEN TO MUSIC? PANDORA RADIO CAN SUCK A BARREL OF DONKEY DICKS, PANDORA ALWAYS FUCKING FREEZES! IT IS HANDS DOWN THE WORST WAY TO LISTEN TO MUSIC, AND NOW THAT YOUR GONE WHERE THE FUCK AM I GOING TO GO? Honestly I think everyone that used grooveshark is going to go back to pirating music again. It was nice while it lasted. P.S YOU HAD ONE FUCKING JOB!!!!!!!

    Reply
  40. anonymous

    Grooveshark is the best free music site I know. This is way better than Pandora or Spotify

    Reply
  41. Anonymous

    If groovehark operated illegally, what happens to all the money the subscribers paid them for vip service?

    Reply
  42. matthew

    FUCK THAT GROOVESHARK HELPED ME GET THROUGH THE HARD TIMES AND YOU CLOSE IT DOWN!

    Reply
  43. kylie de hanz

    Is this some kind of nightmare , I love grooveshark it can’t be over , i work to hard making the playlist , please don’t earse my music just send all my songs to my email ,please !!!!!!
    kaylee.hale76@jenksms.com if you work at grooveshark …….

    Reply
  44. Lucie Soundsgood

    For those who lost their playlists, there is http://soundsgood.co wich gather the best playlists to listen with Deezer, Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud

    Reply
  45. The man who speaks the truth

    This is bull grooveshark was a GREAT music site all they ever wanted to do was give the people what they WANTED MUSIC and FUN. God dammit the gov’t ruins everything it no longer stands for what it was. It was suppose to preserve the american dream which some people take for granted. The land of dreams and opportunity has now become the land of drugs, sex and drunks. Congrats Americans we done fucked up everything kudos to everyone who disagrees with me.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Fuck man i agree with you America has fucked up in more ways than 1 and honestly I would rather have a chat with the Americans and say what we all want to say. ” we just wanna have fun without paying for EVERY GOD DAMN SECOND”.

      Reply

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