Grooveshark Faces a $736,050,000.00 Hammer…


When Universal Music Group declared ‘legal jihad’ against Grooveshark, it turns out they actually meant it.   Now, after flattening Grooveshark and its principals on grounds of willful copyright infringement, the parties enter the phase of figuring out just how brutal this punishment will be.

Grooveshark attorneys at Rosenberg & Geiger are now watching this village get burned.  After a trial that turn up damning emails, erased data, and other sordidness, US District Court judge Thomas P. Griesa has dramatically increased the fines and punishments that Grooveshark parent company Escape Media can potentially face.  “The jury will be instructed that the maximum statutory damages is $150,000, not $30,000, per infringed work, due to the fact that the infringements were willful, but the parties will be able to introduce evidence on the degree of willfulness,” copyright and internet attorney Ray Beckerman explains.

“Since there are 4,907 works, that means the minimum damages that can be awarded is $3,680,250.00, and the maximum could be $736,050,000.00.”

Jury deliberations over statutory damages begins on Monday.  The full decision is here (thanks to Ray Beckerman for sending that over!)



24 Responses

  1. Wooly

    This will never happen, and if something does manifest, it won’t be for near the amount mentioned here.

  2. jw

    Sucks that none of this cash will actually make it to the artists.

    (I’m assuming that none of the artists are co-defendants.)

      • small biggie

        sAme here, I’m just glad GS got what it had coming. I for one am glad there are major labels that can afford to take action like this, as it helps all artist, big AND small! I’m just sorry it took soo long to get here… maybe other sites that hide behind the safe harbor- thinking it shields them from criminal behavior- will take notice, and take a hike.

  3. Former UMGer

    UMG will be able to make their annual numbers with the settlement (as opposed to making it from sales) and the artists will receive $0 even though the content being played on Grooveshark can clearly be attributed to specific artists. #typical

    • Remi Swierczek

      It this case it will be judgment against a DEADBEAT!
      No cash for UMG business NERDS or creators.

  4. FarePlay

    How many years and how many songs have been played by Groveshark as musicians and songwriters stood by unable to do anything to claim their work?

    When laws intended to protect people fail on such a catastrophic level why do we wait for years and years to change them? When do people give up on their dreams because the path through doesn’t exist?

    How many truly gifted artists simply gave up because the game they were playing was hopelessly broken?

    When will people, who are controlling the game, understand that creativity is different and requires something totally different than other professions.

  5. Bandit

    And don’t forget that with willful infringement comes payment of opposing parties attorney’s fees.

    I suspect that UMG attorneys aren’t cheap and they get paid first.

  6. Versus

    Good. These leeches need to die.
    Now: How will artists and other rights-holders be compensated for the losses?

    • FarePlay

      Historically artists have not received compensation from these cases.

      The only ones to really make out are the lawyers. On both sides.

  7. Adam

    Haaaahahahaha wow this is a great effort the labels are making in order to want to “earn” back all the money they haven’t made since they decided not to go digital pre-2001.

    I wonder if the record biz even made this much money in the time that groove shark was operating. I have doubts.

    Makes it a little too easy. Now imagine if the labels had not resisted digital music and they had simply created a fair system of micro payments and a better digital distribution system. They might have actually made some of those billions in earnest…

    • Musicservices4less

      Adam, you might be right but I don’t think so. The music industry and tech music distributor industry now has the hard, true facts that no matter what a tech music distributor charges, if piracy is rampart, which in fact it has been for over 15 years, the fact remains that that will crush any legitimate payment, subscription or other payment tech music distribution model.

      We, the music industry and the digital entertainment industry as a whole, must fight to have the laws changed to recognize that illegal activities conducted on the internet must be taken very seriously. All those who participate in it or passively let it happen MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

      And that’s now the facts. You cannot compete against free.

  8. Jay

    This isn’t about who will get “the money” – it is about what number will be written down on a piece of paper. The idea that GS has anything like the numbers be tossed around and that any judgment will be collectible is, well, ridiculous.


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