Breaking: Grooveshark Co-founder Dead at 28; Cops Say ‘No Evidence of Suicide’

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Updated, 1:30 pm PT.  Gainesville Police have issued a Twitter statement noting that there was ‘no evidence of foul play or suicide’ (here).  Additionally, this report has added details related to recently-murdered Grooveshark exec, Eddy Vasquez.

Grooveshark co-founder Josh Greenberg was found dead Sunday in his apartment in Gainesville, FL, according to details now coming from local news outlets.  The body was discovered by his girlfriend, and completely unexpected.

Greenberg, who was 28, had no significant medical conditions or issues with drugs, according to a statement from his mother.

That introduces the very serious possibility of a suicide, especially considering the recent teardown of Grooveshark, though Gainesville Police noted ‘no evidence of foul play or suicide’.  Addressing that issue in a brief statement to the Gainesville Sun, Greenberg’s mother noted that her son wasn’t depressed but rather focused on future possibilities.  “He was excited about potential new things that he was going to start,” Lori Greenberg said. “[The medical examiners] are as baffled as I am.”

It was an undoubtedly rough year for Greenberg, however.  On April 30th, after losing a massive lawsuit against Universal Music Group and other major labels, Grooveshark was permanently shut down, with assets seized.  Grooveshark had battled for years against a massive ‘legal jihad’ spearheaded by Universal, and was ultimately found guilty of intentional, massive copyright infringement.

Greenberg, like CEO Sam Tarantino, spent a majority of their careers at Grooveshark under massive, unrelenting legal pressure.  But they also witnessed meteoric growth: the Grooveshark concept, borne on the University of Florida campus, at one point surged past 40 million users and remained a contender right up until its final day.  That success largely came from blatant infringement, though Grooveshark’s failure was rooted in other issues as well, including an arguably ruthless and paranoid business culture and an inability to strategically compete with far-stronger streaming competitors like YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

The death also carries an eerie undertone.  In late 2013, Grooveshark lost another twenty-something executive, Eddy Vasquez, who was murdered in a fight.

An autopsy into Greenberg’s cause of death is now underway, with no statements yet from the coroner’s office.

87 Responses

  1. Alex Redmond

    Resnikoff, you scumbag. Where are you reading that “suicide is suspected”? Wow, you truly are common trash. Just pure filth. Your bitterness has no bounds. Pathetic.

    • Anonymous

      Well, why wouldn’t he want to kill himself? He was a worthless piece of shit.

      • Anonymous

        I agree – it takes a special awfulness to write that.

        Regardless of what he did with Grooveshark, his family didn’t do it; you can’t insult him anymore, you can only hurt innocent, grieving people who might stumble across this page and be horribly wounded by a thoughtless, deeply mean comment like yours.

        Paul, you should delete that. The man’s mother is inevitably going to wind up googling her son’s name and reading everything – she shouldn’t have to find this comment about her child.

        • Anonymous

          “you can’t insult him anymore”

          Too bad. 🙁

          “Paul, you should delete that”

          But… I thought information wanted to be free? 🙂

          • Anonymous

            You’re showing a pretty nasty streak here.

            What’s done is done. He’s gone. You’re being unnecessarily cruel to the man’s family for the sheer fun of it now. That’s not the behavior of a kind or decent person.

          • Anonymous

            Could you please stop insulting Greenberg’s victims? Thanx.

      • Rickshaw

        You obviously didn’t know him. Pathetic comment.

        • Anonymous

          “You obviously didn’t know him”

          No, I don’t know any gangsters, pedophiles or other criminals — is that a problem?

          • Rickshaw

            You do know a major asshole, though. It can be confirmed by looking in the mirror. What a jerk you are.

      • Anonymous

        You’re nothing but a hater what a piece of shit. I hope someone in your family dies and then we can all celebrate that.

  2. Jason Hirschhorn

    You have fully morphed into something sub-human. How on earth could you put that headline up. Who suspects. Hope you don’t believe in Karma. – JASON HIRSCHHORN

    • Roberto Clemente

      Wait isn’t this this Limewire pirate? U scumbag. I sat next to you at a hackathon and spit in your coffee when I found out who you are. Someone whispered in my ear- do you know your sitting next to Jason? I said who the hell is that ? The guy who created Limewire. Guess the dude thought I would be impressed. Enjoy your latte

    • Roberto C

      Sorry Jason. Wrong guy. I read your blog. Your one of the good guys. I retract my earlier comment

  3. Jack

    The Gainesville PD says there’s NO EVIDENCE of suicide. You’re a repugnant human being.

  4. Vail, CO

    Sure looks like he killed himself. Keep in mind:

    (1) People in their 20’s rarely just die. Usually it’s a major accident (car wreck, drowning gun violence, or, suicide).

    (2) He had no known conditions heading into this, like a rare heart condition.

  5. Pavle Stojkovic

    The statements all clearly say suicide was NOT suspected you low-life, sub-human piece of dog crap.

    Shame on you.

  6. Adam

    The fact that anyone in the music business is still willing to talk to Paul after the amount of rubbish he’s posted is unbelievable. Music industry should completly drop this fool.

  7. Jack DeYoung

    Congratulations, you’re the worst person ever. The Gainesville Police Department explicitly said suicide was not suspected. Do you know the exact point where you completely gave up any sense of morality or ethics for clicks?

    • Paul Resnikoff


      You and I have shared conversations in the past, I think at one point we were actually friendly. I saw you in the middle of our court battle at a conference, and tried to come up and say hi; you ran away.

      Anyway, I really am not going to take a morality or ethics proviso from you, for reasons I hope are obvious. But, at least your signed your comment.

      Hope you’re well.

  8. Natalie

    It takes a special kind of low to use someone’s death as a platform to take jabs about the company he helped build. Also, are you an expert in mental health? Because I’d really love to know what grounds your assertion is based on, especially since the Gainesville Police Department says there’s no sign of suicide. Shame on you.

  9. Jenny Stojkovic

    This is completely unfounded. You have literally no integrity at all, let alone dignity or respect towards the deceased.

    • Anonymous

      “respect towards the deceased”

      Huh? 🙂

      Dude, this is a site for music lovers (i.e. Grooveshark victims).

  10. Steve

    Really classy to have a link to “+Check out how you can protect your music from piracy!” at the bottom too.

    I echo the sentiments of the others above.

  11. Paul Resnikoff

    Let me address these comments directly.

    First, I’ve approached this matter as a journalist assessing breaking facts, and frankly, given this sudden death at such a relatively young age under these circumstances, I’m not sure how one could not consider suicide as a possibility. I’d agree with the above commenter who noted that people in their twenties rarely die in situations like this, especially in the absence of serious medical conditions, violence, or a catastrophic accident.

    Secondly, the statement from the Gainesville Police was only something that came to my attention after our initial piece was published. However, I still maintain that the suicide possibility needs to be addressed given the obvious issues noted above.

    Thirdly, I’d also add that there is not a toxicology or coroner’s report at this time. And, as much as I hate to say this as a citizen of the United States, I’m not going to readily believe what the police force from Gainesville says, just because they said it. Sorry, I’m an upstanding citizen, but like many other upstanding citizens I am understandably low-trust when it comes to law authorities and police forces in this country.

    You might also ask yourself why the Gainesville Police specifically addressed this issue. The reason, of course, is that it is a very natural conclusion to consider in this circumstance.

    Fourthly, (and most importantly), I’d urge everyone to please wait for the facts to come out on this, from the coroner’s office and/or other sources. Because you might not like those facts (though we will definitely cover them).

    I’ll end with this: I personally do not subscribe to the notion that death makes us saints, and I refuse to write some memorial eulogy instead of diving into this topic with the same rigor we’d approach any other story. That includes the very difficult history of Grooveshark, the roots of its failure, and the role Greenberg may have played in that outcome. That’s the DNA of Digital Music News, and why I created this publication.

    Thank you.

    • jw

      // …instead of diving into this topic with the same rigor we’d approach any other story.

      Well you made sure to do that by leading with the suicide suggestion.

      Was hoping DMN would respectfully pass on covering this story.

      Condolences to Josh’s family & friends.

      • seriously?

        i don’t think anyone would have complained, or at least not as loudly, if you simply had said in the body of the story that the situation raises the possibility of suicide. i mean, you appear to be completely guessing, so it would still be kind of irresponsible, but kinda sorta defensible too. but “a journalist assessing breaking facts” veers way over the line of responsible journalism when he writes in the headline that suicide is “suspected,” as if this is a thing anyone else has actually said, when the only person who appears to have done that suspecting is the journalist himself. that’s misleading at best, and incredibly ugly at worst.

        and saying that you “urge everyone to please wait for the facts to come out” is very pot kettle black, considering that you obviously didn’t wait for the facts to come out yourself.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          Actually, suicide was suspected right from the onset, if you look at one of the first publications to break the story, the Gainesville Sun. And how could it not be a suspected cause of death? The facts raise that as a very real possibility, especially prior to the Gainesville Police statement.

          Let’s also clarify. This report on DMN never once stated it was a suicide, so please don’t accuse me of that.

          Additionally, please ask yourself: why would the Gainesville Police even go out of your way to address the suicide issue? Because it’s a very real and reasonable possibility in this situation.

          I should also note that another very real possibility, upon learning that a 28 year old guy was found dead in his bed with absolutely no signs of crime or violence, would be a drug overdose. Greenberg’s mother says he wasn’t involved in drugs, though I’d contend that a lot of parents are unaware of drug issues their children might have, or, might be hesitant to discuss them in a public forum. The police also reported no drug paraphernalia, etc., on the scene, so let’s see.

          Again, there is not a toxicology report or autopsy done. Looking at this situation, I’m afraid you might like the results that come out.

          • Jennifer

            Based on the facts of this article, we’ve raised a very real possibility that you may in fact be lacking of any journalistic integrity (but please, tell me more about your psychological insights on the relationships of parents and their children’s drug use or perhaps your medical opinion on the cause of a 28 year old’s death) and maybe even a soul altogether.

          • Ben

            Man, that’s a dumb thing to say. Yeah, not once did you say it was a suicide, but by clearly stating in the headline that “cops say no evidence of suicide,” you immediately make people think. They think, “Oh really? Why not? Might there have been suicide?” Whereas if you simply hadn’t mentioned suicide at all, that solves the problem right there.

            I refuse to consider you a journalist.

        • Name2

          you appear to be completely guessing

          In Resnikoffland, “completely guessing” == good enough for a headline.

    • smg77

      It’s laughable that you consider yourself a journalist.

    • Frederic

      Hi Paul.
      Purely as an editorial remark, leaving morals aside, I was expecting to read in the article WHO suspected the suicide conjecture. The police, family, you? It was incomplete. We use to say in Spain “you are throwing the stone to hide the hand behind your back afterwards”
      I see that you come from Standford economics background, you know that if you torture numbers will they say what you want them to say, favor the position you like to defend. In most of the cases this torture can be achieved by phrasing them differently. Your phrasing was terribly missleading, if not intentioned yellow, like The Sun

      In your effort to deffend that the phrsing was correct, and trying to argumentate this postion with the logic of “young people do not usually die and it has not an axe on his head” is very poor, not cheap, poor.

      You see, you ask to us to wait untill the facts are revealed by medical examination while making your own assumptions about the lack of them.
      Suicide makes sense because the youngs are relatively healthy? where is the blood of the wrist cutting, the puke that could reveal a massive ingestion of pills or droug overdose? it was not smashed against the floor was he? the water in which he drwan himself? If stick the finguers in the AC/DC lines… where was the rope? How on earth can you conjecturize about suicides if there is no sign of any suicidal behavior.? Because one paper that hacethe same lack of evidences says so? that is not rigor as I understand it, nor qualitative journalism.

      Having said that, that you fucked it up regardless the angle I look into the situation (subjective after all), I will not insult you, but I would love to urge you to reconsider some of the statments you have made in the justification as I never did see for one nanosecond a glimpse of sorrow or remorse, at least for the phrasing 🙂 BIg unfollow and my best of lucks.

        • Thank you

          Not Frédéric
          That is precisely what crossed my mind reading this mumbo jumbo. I’ve heard the exact dissertation from Sina just different versions.
          Sina you are Shit and remind me of the saying “the self made man worships his creator”

          Sina do you feel guilty?

          • Frederic

            Frederic, not Frédéric as I’m not french, gladly. Frederic written in catalan, region of Spain.
            Not Sina, because I am Frederic Català Marin from Spain. Who the fuck is Sina and where is the comment that is similar to mine? Just make curious now,
            And yes, I write with more foults than a basketball game, I must tell you that I do not master my own lenguages neither, but at least I do not assume nacionalities nor who I am not.
            If I`m not Sina, that I’m swearing is the case, Do I have to feel sorrow too because what I wrote or how it goes?

    • PiratesWinLOL

      “I’d agree with the above commenter who noted that people in their twenties rarely die in situations like this, especially in the absence of serious medical conditions, violence, or a catastrophic accident.”

      You can easily have a serious medical condition without knowing it. I can give you a long list of things which could cause what happend to this young man and there is no reason to blame suicide, the MAFIAA, the NWO or to call Alex Jones. It is not that unusual, unfortunately.

        • PiratesWinLOL

          Yo, Ho haul together, hoist the colours high
          Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die

          How are your attempts to take down Grooveshark going btw?


          • PiratesDieLO

            Like I said, why don’t you just foad…

            Oh, wait — you do. 🙂

    • Name2

      First, I’ve approached this matter as a journalist

      Keep dreaming, pal.

  12. Hannah

    Jesus, what a brilliant headline. Way to be the source of a terrible rumor, publishing lies based on absolutely no factual evidence. Try to have some respect for the deceased and their loved ones.

  13. Friend of Josh

    The irony isn’t lost on me that there’s a field on the comment form called “Verify Your Humanity.” Too bad it’s not required before you hit “publish.”

  14. A Friend

    Where do you you get off saying “suicide is suspected?” By who, you? Someone a thousand miles away, who hasn’t talked to the police, who hasn’t talked to family and friends. Who never knew the guy and who never knew the kind of person that he was.

    I hope you remember this post for years to come. I hope that every time you think about it that you’re overcome with guilt for using someone else’s tragedy to further your own misanthropic worldview.

      • Anonymous

        Yes. A mother and father lost their child. That is always a tragedy.

        Your comment doesn’t hurt him. It is going to hurt his mother – your comment is going to cause additional pain to a grieving mother who lost her son. It isn’t going to help you, or hurt Grooveshark – it’s going to hurt someone who is already deeply suffering.

        Do you honestly feel good about that?

        I really hope not.

        • Anonymous

          “Your comment doesn’t hurt him”

          Look at the bright side: It might hurt some of you pirate scumbags.

          • Wooly

            You really are stupider than you sound. Online piracy is a hydra. Your elation over one man’s death is unfounded as the company, and the act of piracy will not end. You are one stupid, sick individual.

  15. rvlouie

    Cops say “no evidence of suicide”, so DMN immediately jumps to suicide.

    • saint nicholas

      Would upvote if I could. Judgement should be reserved until labwork is complete. People are free to speculate on their own; it shouldn’t be the focus of a news article. Maybe label this article as an opinion piece?

  16. Pavle Stojkovic

    I’m enjoying watching everyone remind you how big of a piece of shit you are. It’s bringing some joy to this difficult day.

    Please, continue speculating wildly without any facts. That’s what a real journalist would do. Notice how you’re the only source who can’t seem to get the basic information straight.

  17. Joey d

    Pathetic Paul. You are trully a scum piece of shit. You’ll get what you deserve.

    • Anonymous

      Courageous? blololololololololololololololol

      he has as much journalist courage, integrity and skill as a 12 year old on tumblr.

  18. Paul stone

    Paul is a Journalist and just stated the obvious and is not to blame.

    The only one there is to blame here is Sam Tarantino. He left Josh for the dogs when Grooveshark closed without anything and then Sam took an extended vacation to Europe with Groovesharks leftover money. Sam used Josh in many ways and then left him out to Dry.

    Josh was everything Sam wasn’t and that is why he was loved. Josh gave back to Gainsville and everyone that came in contact with him.

    Josh we will miss you and forever remember you.

    Sam you can try to subpoena DMN for the source of this post but you will fail as you have until now. Prick.

  19. Curtis Jenkins

    I’m with Paul, he’s just reporting it the way it looks. This definitely look like either an overdose or suicide, or both as you can say it’s the same thing really in the end. People don’t just die in the bed like that out of the blue.

  20. Verifying Humanity

    Paul, how does it feel to know that this type of reporting will be your legacy? Garbage like yours won’t taint Josh’s name. He has earned more love, admiration, and respect during his short life here on earth than you ever will throughout the duration of yours.

  21. Charlie

    His death alone is sufficient enough to feel empathy for his family and friends. No one should die this young, regardless of what the cause turns out to be. RIP, kid.

  22. DavidB

    Why was it a ‘rough year’ for Greenberg? After years of years of cocking a snook at the law and the music industry, Grooveshark was finally shut down without any significant penalty or loss for its proprietors. No doubt they were already scheming new ways to rip people off. The only thing that might have cast a shadow over them would have been the possibility of a criminal investigation by the FBI, which I don’t think can be ruled out.

    • Anonymous

      “No doubt they were already scheming new ways to rip people off.”


  23. Name2

    When you’re selectively paraphrasing police statements, you don’t use quotes.

    Hope this helps, “dirtbag”.

  24. Anonymous

    “am I the only one who finds it strange that two executives involved in a major corporation that went belly up for whatever reason, are both dead?”

    Well, criminals often die young. I find it more peculiar why all these pirate scumbags feel compelled to spam DMN each time.

    But perhaps they’re on some sort mailing list.

  25. The Ghost Of Jerry Garcia

    Hey Paul,

    This hasn’t been a good editorial time for you. But look at all the people that hate your guts, posting on your site ! How cool is that ! 🙂

    • Name2

      Plus there are two new openings at Gawker. Could be a chance for your personal brand re-launch, Paul!!

    • SickBeatMaker

      After all the anger and butthurt and endless screeds in this post, this is by far the best comment.

  26. Tim Wood

    There is definitely a book in the Grooveshark story, by someone in the know but not invested in the events. Maybe Frederic Dannen?

  27. Antint

    Not much empathy from me for ‘pioneers’ and ‘innovators’ who build their business on the theft of other’s work and talent. That another was murdered in a fight is not surprising. Arrogance and me-first attitudes can cause one real trouble.