Several Grooveshark Employees Have Now Signed Settlements With the Major Labels…

It’s difficult to tell exactly what this means, though the development closely follows a major legal setback for Grooveshark against Universal Music Group.  Over the weekend, Torrentfreak unearthed a binding ‘consent judgment’ and ‘permanent injunction’ signed by attorneys representing a Grooveshark employee.

Others, by unspecified Grooveshark employees, have also been signed.

The agreement below, which lists all three major label groups, is stamped May 15th, 2013 (full document, here).  Attorneys representing Nikola Arabadjiev, an active Senior Quality Assurance Analyst at Grooveshark since 2009 (according to LinkedIn), signed the agreement.   Universal Music Group attorneys Jenner & Block are the other signatories.

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The agreement basically states that the individual:

(a) will not infringe on any of the recordings owned by the Plaintiffs in the future, via Grooveshark or any other platform;

(b) will not infringe on these rights through the operation or development of any other platform, as an employee or otherwise; and

(c) will not be held liable for copyright infringement by remaining an employee of Grooveshark, unless specific violations are unearthed (see (a)).

Other listed employees include CEO Sam Tarantino, Joshua Greenberg, Paul Geller, and Benjamin Westermann-Clark, though there’s no indication these individuals have signed the injunctions. We’ve emailed Sam Tarantino for comment; attorneys for Grooveshark are actively litigating against Digital Music News at the moment, which complicates any communications.

So let’s see where this goes: agreements like these typically indicate some sort of final settlement between the parties, which means, Arabadjiev and others are probably getting removed from the case.  Perhaps Arabadjiev’s hands are clean, or, the Plaintiffs (ie, the major labels) forged some punitive settlement and are now focusing on bigger fish like Tarantino.

In a response to Torrentfreak, attorneys for Grooveshark indicated that Tarantino and other top executives are unlikely to sign the documents (while also confirming signatures by other employees, past or present).  Tarantino, among others, are accused of knowingly violating the DMCA by personally (and illegally) uploading tracks into the Grooveshark database.

“We are pleased that the case between Universal Music and Escape Media has been narrowed and simplified by the removal of some individual defendants from the case upon their stipulation to simply obey the law — something Escape Media does every day through its active licensing of millions of tracks and its strict compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” Grooveshark attorneys offered in the statement.

12 Responses

  1. rastamouse

    I suspect the labels have given these guys immunity in return for them testifying about Grooveshark’s actual business practices (ie uploading the content themselves as a matter of business policy).

    • pickle

      Immunity for what exactly? from an anonomous ex grooveshark employee on this site or from Paul?

    • hippydog

      that was my first thought too..

      and makes it so they cant plead the ‘fifth’.

  2. Ms. Poon

    This doesn’t bode well for the artist-owned independents who can’t afford to serve Grooveshark DMCA notifications all day, every day. Unless the majors can actually drown them, Grooveshark will continue to rip off the artists in order to sell stupid ads for shit no one needs.

  3. pickle

    Mr PooP

    Climb back into the hole you came out of.

    • Ms. Poon

      The hole I climbed out of? Ok, person on the Grooveshark payroll who has zero respect for artists… I will climb back into the hole of lost equity and lost ownership which you have dug for us. And in that hole, I’ll dream of salting you up, throwing you on the barbeque, and feeding you to your family. You souless fuck.

      • ha ha ha

        The joke is on them. Just the other day an ex-Grooveshark person walked into my office to ask for a job. You should see the look on his face when I told him he is on a blacklist because he was mocking artists online on his Facebook account to make his Grooveshark boss feel more confident.

        • bs

          Nice bullshit buddy. All the ex-groovesharks that were worth their salt have gone on to better things with great companies in SF, NY, and LA. The good ones have no desire to work for you and little sympathy for their old employer.

  4. previous episodes

    Grooveshark Subpoenas Digital Music News for Confidential Whistleblower Information

    Grooveshark, UMG Preparing to Subpoena Digital Music News

    Grooveshark Is Now Facing $17 Billion In Damages

    This Morning, Grooveshark Sent Us This Angry Email

    King Crimson Can’t Get Their Music Off of Grooveshark. So They cc’d Digital Music News

  5. makes perfect sense you know

    Perhaps one of them is the whistleblower and they want to protect his life.

  6. can't have it all

    Grooveshark doesn’t like DMCA notices when they are about music on their own servers.

    But what about DMCA notices for APIs?

    • interesting

      +Dear GitHub Copyright Agent:
      +I, the undersigned, state UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that:
      +I am, a person injured, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of a person injured by a violation of the U.S. Copyright laws, in particular section(s) 1201(a)(2) and/or 1201(b)(1) of Title 17 of the United States Code, commonly referred to as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or “DMCA”;
      +I May Be Contacted At:
      +Name of Injured Party : ESCAPE MEDIA GROUP, Inc. (“EMG”)
      +Name and Title: [private], In-House Counsel
      +Address: 201 SE 2nd Ave Suite #201
      +City, State, and Zip: Gainesville, FL 32601
      +Email address:
      +Telephone: (954) 551-0889
      +Fax: (727) 231-8312
      +I have a good faith belief that the file-downloads identified below (by URL) are unlawful under these laws because, among other things, the files circumvent effective access controls and/or copyright protection measures;
      +He has taken proprietary source code from inside of our application and posted it as a GitHub project, allowing users to circumvent our proprietary code and infringe our content.
      +Please act expeditiously to remove the file-downloads found at the following URLs:
      +I have a good faith belief that the circumvention of effective access controls and/or copyright protection measures identified above is not authorized by law; and
      +The information in this notice is accurate.
      +Thank you for your kind assistance.
      + | In-House Counsel