Looks like we’ve got a ringside seat for the latest legal boxing match between UMG and Grooveshark. And the cost of admission? A subpoena.
The reason is that an anonymous comment on Digital Music News forms a major part of the recently-filed suit by Universal Music Group, one that accuses Grooveshark of knowingly infringing content and violating DMCA statutes. Which is exactly
The comment, allegedly from a Grooveshark staffer, outlines an employee policy of systematically uploading valuable songs, even if the content owner is demanding a takedown. Oddly, Universal Music Group has never contacted us regarding this comment, either before or after the legal filing. In fact, right after they filed the lawsuit, they called C|Net, if that tells you anything.
Well, here’s a letter with an undisputed owner – Grooveshark chairman Sina Simantob. And this looks more like an extortion scheme than a business model. “We use the label’s songs till we get 100 [million] uniques, by which time we can tell the labels who is listening to their music, where, and then turn around and charge them for the very data we got from them, ensuring that what we pay them in total for streaming is less than what they pay us for data mining,” one email in the lawsuit states. “Let’s keep this quite for as long as we can.”
The complaint, filed in the US District Court in Manhattan, can be found here.