More Layoffs at Grooveshark, Pissed-Off Sources Say…

The once-promising Grooveshark seems to be sinking further, with sources now pointing to additional layoffs in June.  The first source emailed Digital Music News anonymously, unhappily pointing to an unspecified number of layoffs and an 18 percent forced pay-cut for many surviving employees.

We did not receive a response from Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino on the matter, but a second ‘insider’ source has very viciously slammed the company on Pastebin (see below) while reporting similar information.  The Pastebin source, who claims to be an active employee, questioned the layoffs in light of a costly legal strategy spearheaded by John J. Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Giger, one that included subpoena litigation against yours truly, Digital Music News.

Rosenberg, alongside Lindsay Lohan attorney Ed McPherson of McPherson Rane, spent roughly two years unsuccessfully trying to force Digital Music News to open its servers in the hopes of identifying an anonymous commenter (much like the one below).  In May of this year, a panel of California Appeals Court judges decisively ruled in Digital Music News’ favor, while sharply questioning the substance of the subpoena.

Elsewhere, Grooveshark and Rosenberg have been struggling to defend against a massive ‘legal jihad’ by the major recording labels.


  • Save


20 Responses

    • Anonymous Grooveshark User

      I still use Grooveshark. I have an annual subscription and use it everyday, especially their mobile app on Android. I prefer Grooveshark over any other music streaming service. I hate reading bad news!

      • Bob

        I was using Grooveshark until I had to change phones. Around the same time, Amazon came out with Prime Music and now I use Amazon all the time.

    • Casey

      A lot of people still do. They will be in for a rude awakening if Grooveshark should ever shutdown without notice like Imeem did. Their playlists, music library, etc. could someday be gone in a blink.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        Oh c’mon Casey, if you haven’t backed up your playlists on Grooveshark then I don’t know what to tell you…

        • Casey

          I learned my lesson after Imeem went down. I have my entire Rhapsody library downloaded in case they should collapse (for a while there that wasn’t entirely unlikely). But no matter how many Grooveshark users I tell to backup their playlists should Grooveshark run out of cash or simply migrate to another music service that isn’t being heavily sued, nobody listens.

  1. FarePlay

    Expensive to conduct an ongoing legal defense for years with high priced lawyers. I also noticed that one of your commenters had a paid subscription.

    Just another example of wasted money that could go to support artists as a result of Safe Harbor. Time to burn that sucker to the waterline.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Part of Grooveshark’s massive legal costs could be described as self-defense. After all, they are getting sued by Universal Music Group and the other major labels, who endeavor to bury Grooveshark. I remember a meeting with Grooveshark’s legal team and the Superior Court Judge for my subpoena case, maybe a year or so ago, and their main lawyer John Rosenberg declared that Grooveshark was ‘under attack’ by UMG et. al. I’m not in those court battles in New York, but I think that’s not too far off of an assessment.

      The question is whether some diplomacy could have prevented all of this. YouTube, for example, avoided getting into the barbs with a combination of DMCA and their own, self-constructed copyright framework (yeah, forget about that US Copyright rat’s nest, YouTube rolled their own). They worked with the labels. Then again, YouTube is Google, and Google has billions with which to smoosh your company like the tiny insect that it is.

      I like that the United States has a rule of law and a functioning legal system, unlike many countries, but I also know that having money means have a serious, serious advantage. And Grooveshark has a lot less than Google.

      I also can’t speak to the savvy of Grooveshark’s legal team, or whether they are pursuing the best strategy here. Once could question why Rosenberg & Giger decided to burn so much money in a losing campaign against Digital Music News, for example (and believe me, the Appeals Court ultimately did just that). But Grooveshark does have a real defense here in their main case, which is that they are essentially the audio version of YouTube. So, what’s the difference under the eyes of the DMCA? Well, that’s where things get complicated; I can’t tell you whether another legal team could have argued this better and prevailed (or at least have been in a better position than they are right now).

      • Saul

        A different approach would have done wonders. Don’t forget that in early 2011, Grooveshark was the top. They had the users, they had great design, they had the best product experience, they had hockey stick revenues, they had great leverage after a string of small legal wins. It was the perfect time to make nice with the labels. But that ship sailed and it sounds like they’ve had nothing but employee turnover since.

  2. Insider

    Compared to nearly all other streaming services, most of whom at least play by the rules whether you like their business models or not, Grooveshark is a nest of unapologetic thieves who pay zero for the content they exploit. The fact that our legal system has been so slow to shut them down is an embarrassment, and anyone who uses them (much less subscribes) sullies the marketplace for all musicians.

  3. Duke

    Karma is a bitch. I have stories that go back to inception. What starts out as a beautiful thing goes down hill fast once the big money gets involved. Ego’s out of control and the original mission has been flushed down the toilet bowl. A good kid who founded GS gets swept into the vortex and voila, you have one f..ked up situation, Katma is a bitch!

  4. why Pastebin

    Can someone explain to me why was this leaked on Pastebin, instead of, say, a tech blog or something?

    Is Pastebin offering anonymity to the whistle blowers?

  5. Mr. casual

    Grooveshark employees make money from piracy, too.

    During the last 3 years I have shown the door to at least five of them, who had the nerve to write the word “Grooveshark” in their CV.

    Don’t ask to be hired by a label if you are a pirate. Seriously. We have internet in our offices, too. We can visit your online profiles and read about how much you, quote: “love the Pirate Bay because the labels deserve to die”.

  6. hippydog

    I would at least attempt to feel sorry for them.. If they had at least tried to pay the artists SOMETHING, or tried to have SOME ethics..
    but nope.. turns out they ARE actually worse then the pirate bay..

    the sad part is how many millions were flushed down the toilet for nothing..

  7. Willis

    It appears that Fonzie jumped the (groove) shark.

    • hippydog

      Nice one 🙂

      someone REALLY needs to make a gif about that.. LOL

  8. Simon

    i really do not see why you post the mail of some cowardish coprorate faggot.If he [she?] had the balls, should quit and look for a job elsewhere..
    Besides [as i am greek] i do not get the “Greek fuck” and “greek culture bitch” kind of thing..
    It’s not a problem of Greece that the business is going down the drain..
    and the name Julia anderson sounds american to me, not greek.

    • Jax

      I think they meant Greek as in Fraternity. Grooveshark is in a college town. They use college lingo