One Less Lawsuit: Grooveshark, EMI Reach Agreement

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Grooveshark has now settled out-of-court with EMI Group, according to details tipped Tuesday morning by the company.

That follows an abrupt lawsuit by the major label, often the twisted beginning of a licensing conversation.  “EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing have collaborated with us to create a mutually sustainable deal which represents the future of digital music,” stated Grooveshark chief Sam Tarantino.  The news closely follows a major Grooveshark upgrade, one that simplified functionality and cleaned the presentation.

But the Grooveshark tagline conveniently combines “free” and “any song,” enough to pull the ear of any label legal team.  But these are not free downloads, and Grooveshark is better viewed as just one player in a groundswell of successful on-demand streaming entrants.  The class – which includes Spotify, MySpace Music, and Imeem – has been luring considerable traffic away from file-sharing networks, a shift that at least offers a better opportunity for successful monetization.

So what were the terms?  So far, information has been tight-lipped, though Grooveshark executive Josh Bonnain pointed Digital Music News to something “fair and equitable” as well as “sustainable”.  The agreement is likely to guide other major label negotiations, and EMI closes the only outstanding lawsuit.  At present, Grooveshark has 1.2 million registered users, and roughly 4 million unique visitors.