Universal Music Group Now “Declaring Legal Jihad” Against Grooveshark

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Grooveshark may never reach a happy resolution with Universal Music Group, according to several sources discussing the matter with Digital Music News.

Instead, Universal attorneys now appear to be pursuing Grooveshark to the death.  “Basically, they’ve declared legal jihad against Grooveshark,” one source inside the label shared.  “They want this thing gone, and they want blood, that’s basically it.”

Sounds draconian, though the psychology involved is nothing new.  Another source close to the litigation process noted that inside the upper ranks of UMG, Grooveshark is being perceived as an infringing enemy – and not a partner worthy of legal resolution.  That represents a clean break from fellow label EMI Music, as well as indie consortium Merlin, both of whom recently forged accords with the on-demand app.

Neither party is making statements on the matter, generally standard practice in legal face-offs.  But a central figure in the frontal attack appears to be Universal attorney Harvey Geller, described as a ferocious “bulldog” who is “committed to burying these guys,” according to the first source.

The decision to destroy seems to fit the broader picture.  Since Midem, onlooking attorneys have been pointing to a very shrewd and aggressive approach by UMG.  That includes the filing of a copyright case in the State of New York, and most recently an unceremonious yank-down of the Grooveshark iPhone app.