Let’s View Josh Greenberg for Who He Was: a Ruthless Copyright Infringer…

sharkruthless

“…for he who has paid the penalty of death stands absolved from his sin.”

The Bible, New Testament, Romans 6:7.

Over the weekend, Grooveshark co-founder Josh Greenberg was found dead at the age of 28, a tragic ending that truncated a lifetime of possibilities.  People die everyday, it’s ironically part of life.  You just hope they had a chance to live a full, rewarding existence when the moment arrives; to turn things around or grow upon successes.  Greenberg didn’t get that chance.

That said, I’ll be brutally honest about my reaction to Greenberg’s death, and the ruthless manner with which I feel Greenberg, other Grooveshark executives, and Grooveshark investors and attorneys treated artists, their own employees, and Digital Music News itself.  It’s not pretty, though I refuse to sugar-coat that legacy, now or in the future.

It wouldn’t be fair to the artists that Grooveshark duplicitously stiffed, the ruthless legal attack they waged against Digital Music News, and the direct orders Grooveshark superiors gave employees to infringe thousands of artists’ life works.

In death, we tend to lionize, to elevate and focus only on the positive aspects of a person’s life.  But as a reporter and publisher that serves the music industry, not to mention a near-victim of Grooveshark’s ruthless business culture, I had a very difficult time doing that with Josh Greenberg.  And part of the reason is that I fought tooth-and-nail for years, only with the assistance of great legal icon Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, against a ridiculous and petty subpoena attempt that gave me insights into a pathological and ruthless Grooveshark culture.

What started as a bullying subpoena attempt in 2012 quickly devolved into something extremely ugly, with Grooveshark dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bi-coastal, superstar legal team intent on forcing DMN to divulge confidential commenter information.  Actually, we didn’t have anything to divulge, though we almost died proving that and trying to defend journalists’ rights.

Yes, Digital Music News was extremely close to having its entire server cluster frozen, and shut down, based on paralyzing costs related to searching every nook-and-cranny of our server cluster for the identity of an anonymous commenter.  We ended up prevailing in California Appeals Court, but that required a reversal of a Superior Court decision that would have crippled us.  As I later learned, that is actually a more common result in discovery and subpoenas than you might imagine, especially for companies with fewer resources.  DMN would have died, even though we were ultimately right under the eyes of the law.

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I couldn’t help but think that this was Grooveshark’s intent all along, and all because we wrote some honest, critical articles on a company that deserved it.

But people were screaming about this company long before that.  Artists constantly shared stories with DMN of receiving zero royalties, yet guys like Greenberg and fellow co-founder Sam Tarantino always claimed they were paying royalties and obeying the DMCA.  It was bullshit, and everyone knew it, yet Grooveshark somehow managed to bank juicy sponsorship deals with the likes of Mercedes, Chevrolet, and Netflix, just to name a few, while paying nothing to artists, labels, publishers, or anyone else in the creator food chain.  They even hoodwinked indie organizations like Merlin into licensing their content, despite serious problems paying — and stiffing — artists that most desperately needed the cash.

By the time Grooveshark lost in their case against the major labels, discovery had shown us Grooveshark’s extremely ugly side.  This was a ruthless culture, a professional theft operation with pathological intent.

Ironically, these guys were deleting damning files, though a subpoena of Grooveshark’s remaining internal emails revealed that top management had directly ordered underlings to illegally upload copyrighted work into the Grooveshark server tree.  They had adamantly denied doing this throughout the trial, claiming protection from the DMCA and inability to take down infringing works fast enough.

They were lying to artists, screwing artists, while telling a totally different story to sponsors like Mercedes and Chevrolet (who smartly pulled out when they got wind).

And that includes Josh Greenberg, who co-founded the whole scam.  Because that’s what Grooveshark was, a scam.

So did this guy kill himself?  That was my first reaction, given that this happened to a seemingly-healthy twenty-something just weeks after Grooveshark was shut down, with all assets seized.  Actually, that was everyone’s reasonable reaction, including writers at the Gainesville Sun, yet somehow, I spend hours defending my decision to discuss a very plausible supposition.

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And no, I don’t think anyone should get a free pass on stuff like that, in life or in death.  That’s just another cultural (and religious) norm that makes little sense, especially in a situation like this one.  It goes against everything I stand for, and the very reason I started this publication.

Thank you.

Image by Elias Levy, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 (CC by 2.0).

124 Responses

        • Avatar
          MusicExec

          Yeah, not cool at all. Dude is dead. He may not have been a good person, possibly even Satan, but you show your smallest side with this piece less than a week after his death. You live. He’s dead. You won. Get it?

    • Avatar
      gainsville

      Not too soon. Who cares. There’s a lot more people in this world dying much worse deaths, suffering worse fates in life than this backwater shitbird kid who knew dick about the music industry and when he did, chose to flaunt his non-concern of the rules of the road. Licensing is too tricky? Cry me a river Sam and Josh. Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Google Play, et al all had to license the right way, you didn’t. Your service had a stupid name. And not surprising considering the hicks that you were.

      Sorry for your family Josh, but as a member of the music industry, I couldn’t give a fuck less.

      • Avatar
        Name2

        Sorry for your family Josh, but as a member of the music industry, I couldn’t give a fuck less.

        Sorry for your family, but as a music lover, I couldn’t give a fuck less about the death of the music industry.

        • Avatar
          anynomous

          Do you have any idea how ignorant that statement is? Obviously not, but it is. As a “music lover” you don’t care about the “music industry?” That’s like saying as an oxygen breather, I don’t care about the trees. Hey moron… without someone to create and distribute the music you love, you will not be able to enjoy the music you love. News flash, you may never know about the coolest new band on the west coast if you live on the east coast without the “music industry” to help create, promote, and distribute the music. Sure, we have youtube and other internet options, but it’s a funny thing about many artists… they are NOT great with technology! Even recording their own album is outside of the realm of possibility for some of the greatest singer/songwriters, let alone actually figuring out a way to distribute what they’ve recorded.

          Contrary to popular belief, the internet has not solved the distribution problem for all musicians.

      • Avatar
        Anonymous

        Gainsville- You’re an ungrateful little shit. If you live, work or went to school in Gainsville, you’d know that Grooveshark cared and did more for the local scene there than anyone else. Josh being a spearhead of that. Also, Grooveshark existed before Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and Google Play and guess what, NONE OF THEM HAVE LICENSING FIGURED OUT. They all learned how to do it from the Grooveshark case. Fuck yourself.

  1. Avatar
    Name2

    You’ve inspired me, Paul.

    I’m pirating a couple albums tonight in Josh’s memory.

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      “I’m pirating a couple albums tonight in Josh’s memory.”

      Because that’s the mature thing to do. Now, what would you do if he’d been a slightly different type of criminal?

      Rape a girl in his memory? Rob a bank? Steal a car?

      • Avatar
        Anonymous

        calling someone out for being mature? lol You make cheering-for-death comments whenever someone dies. You did the same thing when a cop killed the former Napster guy. Hope your loved ones get killed, we’ll make sure to cheer about it.

        • Avatar
          Anonymous

          “Hope your loved ones get killed, we’ll make sure to cheer about it.”

          But of course…

      • Avatar
        Name2

        Since I won’t actually be listening to the albums (I mean, Taylor Swift?) it’ll be less like piracy and more like pouring out a whole bottle on the ground at the wake for the fallen.

      • Avatar
        Rickshaw

        You, of all people, should not be lecturing about maturity. Your comments are childish and mean-spirited. It is obvious that your mother missed the mark on teaching you manners.

      • Avatar
        anonymous

        did you really just compare copyright infringement to rape?

      • Avatar
        Anonymous

        Nobody ever does anything about pirating. You pirate a movie made by a multi-million dollar company, they aren’t going to miss the $5 you would have spent on the DVD. You don’t rape somebody in honor of a rapist. Petty crimes done ‘in honor’ won’t cause an uproar. Hakuna your tatas.

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      Based on some of these comments, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was murdered.

      • Avatar
        Anonymous

        No it’s not. It’s pointless but he knows another article about him will stir the comment pot and get him page views. He’s profiting from his death and he knows it.

        • Avatar
          Anonymous

          “He’s profiting from his death”

          Let’s call it poetic justice.

          • Avatar
            Anonymous

            Ok, sure, because I’m sure Paul will donate all the money he makes from these articles back to artists so he’s not a giant hypocrite…

          • Avatar
            Anonymous

            “donate all the money he makes from these articles back to artists”

            Thanks, but that won’t be necessary — the articles are better than money.

          • Avatar
            Name2

            He’s going to give it all to SoundExchange. THEY’LL make sure it all gets to the right place.

  2. Avatar
    Troglite

    Thanks for sharing Paul.

    My professional experience matches what you described. The cost of defending yourself from a lawsuit that has absolutely zero merit can be astonishingly high. Those costs are often used as a form of intimidation to force a settlement on unfavorable terms b/c failing to do can genuinely jeopardize survival of the business. Patent trolls seem to be especially fond of this technique.

  3. Avatar
    Name2

    I don’t know one Taylor Swift album from the next. Which one should I pirate to make Paul has most sadz?

  4. Avatar
    Jenkins

    What does the Bible say about besmirching the dead, Paul? Sorry you felt a little miffed by a subpoena, hope attacking those not around to defend themselves makes it better.

    • Avatar
      getdownmoses

      Who gives a fuck what the bible says? They seemed to be ok with slavery, child rape, infanticide, war, intolerance…Religious bullshit has no place in business. Go to a fucking church.

    • Avatar
      Russian guy

      The author couldn’t care less about The Holy Bible. Resnikoff isn’t a Christian in the first place, according to his last name. That’s a Jewish last name

  5. Avatar
    jw

    DMN’s pettiness knows no bounds.

    Totally done reading this site.

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      “Totally done reading this site”

      🙂 YES! 🙂

      No more jw comments, ever!

  6. Avatar
    Mr K

    The Gainesville news you mention as well as the Gainesville police both said specifically that there were no signs of suicide or foul play. This article is absurd.

      • Avatar
        Steve

        Find a link to corroborate that you piece of shit.

        • Paul Resnikoff
          Paul Resnikoff

          There seems to be some confusion over the suicide possibility, which I still contend is quite a strong possibility. Let me start with the Gainesville Sun coverage, which I believe was the first to report the issue.

          For starters, the author did not use the word ‘suicide,’ probably out of fear of receiving the kind of emotional, knee-jerk backlash and attacks that you’ve seen here at Digital Music News. In fact, I found perhaps a dozen or more articles that decided to dance around the issue, which was a totally obvious and reasonable supposition, but not mention the word ‘suicide’ for fear of pissing anyone off (an approach I obviously don’t subscribe to).

          So, here’s the Gainesville Sun report, which might have been altered and updated since initial publication, I’m not sure.

          http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150720/ARTICLES/150729990

          The key excerpt is here:

          “It looked like he was sleeping,” Lori Greenberg said.

          “She said her son was more relieved than depressed about the April 30 settlement that shut down Grooveshark since it ended the lawsuit that had been hanging over his head. Several record companies had sued the online music streaming service over copyright violations.”

          “He was excited about potential new things that he was going to start,” she said.

          I think we all can surmise what is being discussed here, even if the author took the wimpy way out and didn’t mention the obvious.

          Now, let’s move over to Rolling Stone, which published a follow-up piece later on.

          http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/friends-family-search-for-answers-in-death-of-grooveshark-founder-20150721#ixzz3ge9iKcKG

          More from the mother:

          “I was very concerned when he lost Grooveshark: How would he react? Could he be depressed?” she continues. “Finally it ended, and they closed Grooveshark, and simultaneously the lawsuit vanished. He was relieved, not depressed.”

          “People think Grooveshark was so successful that they made a lot of money. They kept reinvesting the money back in Grooveshark. He never had a lot of money,” adds Lori Greenberg. “I didn’t get a sense he was depressed or suicidal. Last week, he went with three of his friends to Asheville, North Carolina, for a four-day vacation. They went hiking. They saw a bear. They had a great time. He was quite happy. I don’t understand.”

          Again, obvious what we’re actually talking about here.

          Now, I’d still say that in the absence of a confirmed toxicology report, that we don’t know what happened and that suicide remains a very strong possibility. The Gainesville Police said ‘no evidence of foul play or suicide,’ but that wasn’t a statement from a medical examiner. Remember, Josh could have popped a fatal concoction of pills or provoked alcohol poisoning, neither of which would show an obvious sign of suicide. All we know is that he wasn’t hanging in the bathroom, there wasn’t a note on his chest (that we know about), etc. And Gainesville isn’t a big city, there may be reasons why the local police force isn’t telling the truth (they may know the family, for example, and want to protect them in this time).

          I called the toxicology / coroner’s office myself in Gainesville, there isn’t anything that will be available until 3-6 mos., they confirmed that.

      • Avatar
        well

        Not calling you a piece of shit, but you’re the only one here who seems to think that. Have a source or really any proof at all?

        • Avatar
          Name2

          Paul doesn’t have “sources”. He has “intel”.

  7. Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Let’s View Josh Greenberg for Who He Was: a Ruthless Copyright Infringer”

    Agree.

  8. Avatar
    Brian

    Bitter much? You write story about some who just died saying how they are such a terrible person because they treated people poorly(which you are doing now), committed illegal activity(which I’m sure you have also at some point, in fact I bet you downloaded at least one song illegally and listened to a lot of them from other people) and mostly because he attacked you’re site(after you attacked his). If you think someone is a terrible person simply because they went to every length possible to defend themselves then you must hate a lot of people. But I could really careless about this article until you bring up that you had to defend yourself for hours on the suicide article you wrote. This article repeated says that this guy was a terrible person because he lied about what he was doing then you write in your article that despite what the police and the evidence say that you know better. Greenberg may have been a terrible person but you are just as bad or worse, stop being such bitter little child and get over yourself.

    • Avatar
      Troglite

      @Brian and @MusicServices4Less
      “If these rants can get back to music, Brian brings up an interesting point. ”

      Indeed. Piracy is neither a business model not is it a new phenomenon. Traditional techniques for managing the risk of piracy have focused on limiting supply and punishing consumption.

      I think the largest failure to translate these traditional techniques in the context of the digital transformation of the music industry is to equate limiting supply with limiting the pirate’s access to commercial advertising networks. In this regard, I think David Lowry is on the right track. Musicians need to create a COST when these ad networks or the companies that purchase ad placements through these networks allow pirates to use their systems. Breaking that link is the best way to limit the pirate’s ability to monetize their theft.

      To be clear, that approach isn’t perfect either. But the intent has never been and should never be to eliminate piracy. That would be as foolish as declaring a war on drugs or a war on terrorism.

    • Avatar
      wallow-T

      @Musicservices4less:

      “What we all have learned about piracy and who is really to blame and go after is not the individual who downloads music but to target those ORGANIZATIONS that provide the means for consumers to download/upload music that they are not allowed to do.”

      Microsoft? Apple? Comcast? Level3? ICANN?

      As someone else wrote on DMN over the last week, one really needs to work on killing the Internet (replacing it with some sort of AOL-like service) and the general-purpose computer, if one hopes to throttle piracy. At the moment, a general-purpose toolkit for copying and distributing files has become fundamental to our society, and that’s what the music industry needs to beat.

  9. Avatar
    A Human Being

    Paul, you are such a dick. I unsubscribed months ago because I had enough of the BS in this industry. Thanks for reinforcing my feelings.

    When I read about Josh’s death, my first thought was “I wonder what DMN has to say?” I really hoped for the best, but expected the worst, and you certainly delivered.

    I knew Josh. He was a good person. He believed passionately in what he was doing, of course he was wrong, but he was only 28 years old, more like 21 when started Grooveshark! Nobody deserves this kind of treatment.

    Don’t bother replying, because I will not be back to read it. Asshole.

    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Our justice system offers more lenient sentences and consideration for minors, because they are often too young to know better and deserve a chance at rehabilitation so early in their lives. But 25+ is not in that category; at a certain point you know better.

      • Avatar
        Judith Mchugh

        Paul, Your blinders are on so tightly that you can’t see this was not an issue of piracy, but about a human life. Get your priorities straight, man.

        • Avatar
          Anonymous

          Please take your hogwash somewhere else, this was most definitely an issue of piracy.

          • Avatar
            Smirkle

            No, Josh was a human being, and he died. You are relishing in his death for some weird reason.

  10. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Crazy.

    I’m more of a guy that likes to think about the best of people after they die – and yes, it’s because of my Christian upbringing – this may apply to other religions… I’m sure it does, but I’m not going to make that Christian-centric assumption. It seems to me to be a more humane thing to do. And I do that consistently.

    Yet…. for some people… there are people out there that don’t deserve that humane/Christian response. For this guy, the Grooveshark guy seems to be one of them. For others – who knows, but I’m sure you can think of someone…. I think almost everyone could agree on Hitler, for example. There is someone who, for your own personal reasons, you would not mourn if they died. And for this author – the Grooveshark guy is one of them because that guy attacked the author’s livelihood for his own criminal (I use that word because Grooveshark lost their legal battle and hell – we all knew Grooveshark was illegal) money making goals. One guy said he was only 21 and didn’t know better…. seriously dude? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you suffer from dyslexia – 21 is not 12. He knew what he was doing.

    I’m not going to say anything bad about the deceased. I happened to know the guy’s extended family – who, by the way, also wondered about suicide – and I feel really bad for them. But to call this author names….. let me ask you one question. If this author – God forbid – died, would you be going online, publish your real names, retract your past comments, and talk about how he was a saint? Yes? No? If no – then welcome to this author’s world.

    • Avatar
      Alex Redmond

      First of all, I have only used my real name on this site. And second of all, I would not retract any of the name calling i have used to describe the author. As far as i am concerned, and this article confirms it, every name i have called him has been justified and accurate.

      The past two pieces that have run regarding Josh Greenberg have had ulterior motives that (considering the issue of disdain towards Grooveshark perpetuated by Paul) ironically illustrate a skewed moral perspective. As a matter of fact, every article that Paul has cited, each one of them maintained a journalistic integrity and reported the facts as they know them – never injecting opinion or jumping to conclusions.

      Paul went another direction. Despite his claim/defense that the Gainesville Sun reported suicide first (still have yet to see a link or a screen grab), Paul specifically went out of his way to create a sensationalistic title that not only provided the intentional needling of his own personal foe’s friends & family (quite one-sided as it specifically came to Josh for the record – Josh didn’t give two shits about Paul or DMN) but the clickbait that he so desires (oooh traffic spikes!!). A journalist, he is not. He is a scum bag and he has to wrestle with his own personal issues every day. And i am certain he does. Alone. I can’t imagine the man or woman that would want to spend any amount of extended time with someone who spews such incomprehensible bitterness for personal gain (again that traffic spike!).

      Let’s be clear here… the issue that i have, is not whether or not Josh took his own life (it is quite rare for a healthy 28 yr old to pass away in their sleep) it is the unrequited joy that Paul took in writing these past two articles. For that he is common trash.

      That’s all.

      Fuck him.

      • Avatar
        Anonymous

        I agree 100% with everything that Alex wrote.
        Paul I found your article to be nauseatingly and tasteless. I hope you go jump off a cliff you nasty SOB.

  11. Avatar
    MNLAKER

    Maybe this is what needs to happen to All of the people robbing artists, running streaming sites, and piracy sites??? What do ya think?

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      Absolutely. For all of the people robbing artists.

      You steal a song? DEATH!

      But not like this – it’s not punitive enough. Public beheading for copying a friend’s CD!

      Oh, let’s have canings for using ad block, and maybe blind people who pick up a magazine in a store and read an article or look at photos without paying for it.

      Your sense of retribution is seriously out of whack.

  12. Avatar
    Rickshaw

    What the fuck is this bullshit, gutter article? I expect this from TMZ, but DMN has hit a new all-time low.

  13. Avatar
    HelloGoodbye

    there are 2 things here :
    – it’s Paul’s right to be angry at this guy ( and Grooveshark in general) for their conduct and what they made him go thru with their lawsuit. I don’t think there are many people that would blame him . And yes Grooveshark were a bunch of thieves and crooks.
    – on the other hand, i don’t think readers were expecting Paul to be talking about the deceased as a saint, but they expected perhaps a neutral and factual position when announcing the news of his death, and not an article that goes into insinuating things that ( probably ) didn’t happen. You don’t have to say nice things about him, but the usual dignified position is to stick to the mere description of facts concerning his death.

    • Avatar
      1 Thing

      It isnt like they WENT AFTER Paul, like they tried to get this site shut down. They subpoenaed records to see who had left a defamatory comment about them on a web forum Paul operates. Despite what Paul wants you to believe and the inumerable articles over the past 3 years manufacturing this controversy that is a normal part of business. It’s nothing personal.

      Even if you think Grooveshark are all crooks they still have a right to defend themselves, and since a comment made here was ACTUALLY REFERENCED in one of their court cases its 100 per cent reasonable for them to seek the source.

      Paul also has every right to fight it but the whining is just that, baby bitch bellyaching.

      • Avatar
        Name2

        Paul’s bitter that the fight didn’t result in some real industry love.

        Oh, sure: a few festival invites, fully vetted PR pieces for FREE (chortle)… but he’s still not really living the dream, is he, for all he did?

    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      “It isnt like they WENT AFTER Paul, like they tried to get this site shut down.”

      Please read the article. I’m not sure I agree with that, in fact, I strongly suspected the opposite: that Greenberg was abusing the legal system to attack and shut down opponents, or worse, anyone that disagreed with him publicly. That’s ruthless behavior, and not something anyone can quickly forget.

  14. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Okay, Paul.

    I’ll be brutally honest about my opinion of you:

    You’re a fucking asshole.

  15. Avatar
    Jeff D.

    Hey remember in the comments of your last article about Mr. Greenberg when you defended yourself by claiming, “Hey,just reporting the facts!”?

  16. Avatar
    pbody

    “too soon”. people are still getting over the shock of the dudes death.

  17. Avatar
    paul sucks

    Paul – You’re an absolute dick with no class. Go to hell.

  18. Avatar
    Anonymous

    To all the pussy pirate douchebags whining about speaking the truth about a slimeball that stole from musicians:

    Fuck Off.

  19. Avatar
    Bruce Houghton

    Paul has the right to write these things, but he also should have the humanity not to. Shame on me for reading it.

    • Avatar
      Agreed

      I feel dirty for reading. This piece isn’t journalism, this is personal and petty.

  20. Avatar
    Chris

    I wonder how Digital Music News’s sponsors must feel about being associated with all of shit. Berklee, ReverbNation, all the bullshit advertorials that Paul has posted. etc.

    You empower this impossibly unaware human being to continue peddling his nonsense. This site is publicly and privately derided by intelligent and informed music industry folks – because it’s reactionary clickbait at the best of times and, well, this, at the worst of times.

    Pull the plug and do everyone a favour.

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      Digital Music News sponsors love it and that is the whole point. There is no shame when it comes to surviving in the digital publishing business and all of the comments here are a testament that the content on DMN hits a nerve and brings traffic. Advertisers will love it. If anyone has a problem with the content on DMN they should just stay away. Attempting to shame the author with comments (and the clicks it took to get here) does nothing but boost the value of the property.

  21. Avatar
    StreamingIsPiracy

    Great post, Paul. Keep up the good work.

    • Avatar
      Theo Bruni

      Yes. One more won’t matter at this point. You’re already headed to hell.

  22. Avatar
    Go Suck a Bag of Dicks

    Wow.. I’m sad to say I’m not even shocked by this post. You always were a petty piece of shit. You’re as ugly on the inside as you are on the outside. Waiting until he’s dead to write this attack piece.. well aren’t you so bold! Fuck off!

  23. Avatar
    Thedenmaster

    Truth will prevail. Actions speak louder than words. Crime doesn’t pay.

  24. Avatar
    Unsubscribing

    seriously? the guy just died. i don’t agree with his business and their practices either but to dance on a man’s grave like this is beyond reprehensible.

    you have the right to print what you want, but i’m exercising my ability to unsubscribe and never read your blog again.

    thoroughly appalled by this piece.

  25. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Josh did more in his life than this shit blog. So easy to hate behind your wordpress admin template. douche.

  26. Avatar
    Anonymous

    I applaud this article. Someone has died young, which is sad – condolences to the family. But that doesn’t alter the fact that Grooveshark was a criminal, ethically bankrupt operation, and its founders knew it. Maybe it’s harsh to speak ill of the dead, but it’s not wrong to continue to speak out against this dead company.

  27. Avatar
    pattern logic

    Music industry is upset, person has this cool way to proliferate music for free/illegally.

    It gets clamped.

    Person who has previous cool service doesn’t skip a bit, takes a vacation, and “was excited about potential new things that he was going to start”

    Music industry learns of his new upstart and intentions, and says, “Alright, we’ve had enough of this.”

    The person is then gone.

    Trends.

  28. Avatar
    Anonymous

    What an appalling article. Trolling at its worst. The music and film industries have caused the problems in the first place by overcharging and restricting access so that consumers are fed up. Yes we want to reward artists for the efforts, but not the parasites that feed off them (like you apparently) and raise costs for everyone.

    • Avatar
      ModernSlavery

      Yes we want to reward artists for the efforts,
      Interesting…Who is this “we” you’re speaking off ?
      And you sound like a very generous person for agreeing to “reward” the people that makes you millions of dollars . Do you also ask them to do a monkey dance before throwing a 0.00000001 cents “reward” at them too ?
      Also, not that i agree with the tone of this article, but i’d love to know how Paul is feeding off artists, unlike..you….( Spotify, Grooveshark , Pandora )?

  29. Avatar
    I am disgusted

    Long live grooveshark, and everything Josh Greenberg stood for.
    I am disgusted at digitalmusicnews, he just died.

  30. Avatar
    Anonymous

    “and everything Josh Greenberg stood for.”
    Theft ?
    Long live theft ?

  31. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Not every artist viewed Grooveshark as pirating. Many artists appreciated the exposure that the service provided. There has been a large shift in thought process in regards to pirating. Many are embracing it as free marketing and have shifted focus to other avenues of revenue. This article is tacky to say the least and seems more of an attention seeking method of trolling.

  32. Avatar
    Anonymous

    >Not every artist viewed Grooveshark as pirating. Many artists appreciated the exposure that the service provided.

    Many also objected to their tracks being streamed without permission, and found it impossible to get them removed dispute repeated requests. The choice should be with the artist. It’s a shame the guy died, but what this company did was simply wrong.

  33. Avatar
    Anonymous

    >Not every artist viewed Grooveshark as pirating. Many artists appreciated the exposure that the service provided.

    Many also objected to their tracks being streamed without permission, and found it impossible to get them removed despite repeated requests. The choice should be with the artist.

    It’s a shame the guy died, but what this company did was simply wrong.

  34. Avatar
    dhenn

    Thanks for the reminder of what DMN went through at the time. As a former editor and a long time indie artist I supported you then and I support you now.

  35. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Great use of a bible verse, im sure you have never listened to a fucking word at church or where ever the fuck you go to pretend to be a person. Clearly you have zero morals or respect for anything in this world. Death happens. The dead leave behind family and friends who are still early in the mourning phase. Im sure God has some ugly death planned for you.

  36. Avatar
    MBenedict

    I looked up the word ‘dyslogy’ upon viewing this article. What sort of dyslogy, Mr. Resnikoff, do you think you deserve before your loved ones have ceased mourning your death?

  37. Avatar
    Anonymous

    This does seem pretty classless. It is apparent Paul has had an axe to grind for quite some time, but relishing in persons death is hard to justify for commercial crimes. Regardless of your first few statements the tone of this article comes across as statement of final victory in his death. It is a position that is very hard to defend I think.

    • Avatar
      anon

      he’s an attention seeking child who deserves to be ignored. digital music news is now a misnomer, there’s very little, if any news, he seems more interested in making a name for himself. its a living, i guess.

      • Avatar
        Anonymous

        Very true. They seem to be the fellows on the side of the road complaining that society has passed them by and whining that their outdated model (economic or otherwise) no longer sells. Oh well, innovation waits for no one.

  38. Avatar
    Edit Thyself...

    Just wondering, was he and his business at all ruthless?

    Jesus H….

    Could you use that word any more, in this ethically questionable, editorially vacuous screed of ill-advised schadenfreude?

    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      My family knows who I am, and what I stand for and have accomplished. They have very strong constitutions, strong balance and viewpoints, and could undoubtedly handle whatever criticisms are heaped upon me. They’re strong, successful, functioning people and can handle reality (and frankly, have experienced plenty of death throughout their own, like everyone else in this world).

      Ironically, the prevailing logic of most of these complaints is that it is unfair to criticize someone who has died, because they’re dead. Or, in this case even to hint at the obvious possibility of suicide. I disagree with that grant of immunity, whether it’s rooted in religion, societal norm, or something else.

      Actually, by the convoluted reasoning repeatedly expressed here, it would be wrong to criticize me in death, because, I’m dead. Smoke that one, my friend.

      • Avatar
        MBenedict

        De mortuis nihil nisi bonum? Not exactly, Mr. Resnikoff – there is a matter of timing, and yours leaves something to be desired. If I said “Steve Jobs was little more than a cult leader”, someone would almost certainly argue with me on that point, but I doubt anyone would say “Too soon, Mr. Benedict”. If it had been a question of content alone, I wouldn’t have bothered.

      • Avatar
        Ben

        Oh god. You’re one of those douches who thinks they’re smarter than they are. Like the guy who reads one magazine article referencing philosophy, who immediately sees himself a philosopher. Or more accurately, the guy who launches a website and immediately sees himself a journalist. These things take training and discipline, and every comment you’ve left on this article betrays that.

        Also smoking’s bad for you, don’t advocate it or your ensuing obituary will be even worse than it’s going to be.

        • Avatar
          MBenedict

          Replying to . . . yours truly? Paul? Edit Thyself?

        • Avatar
          MBenedict

          Never mind – closing comment makes it fairly clear.

  39. Avatar
    Cece

    well he may have not paid artists or whatever but that doesn’t make him a bad person, he was very wise n did a lot for the community, I happen to know him n his family personally since he was 12 n regardless of the copyright issues he still didn’t deserve to die n NO HE DIDNT KILL HIMSELF he wouldn’t have done that he was actually happy about the closing n the settlement that he paid millions of dollars to for his mess up, he had other businesses so he was not worried or stressed enough to commit suicide. I’m not defending him but the way u worded this article is a bit harsh, nothing wrong with speaking ur mind but have a little discretion please!

    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Cece, I appreciate that feedback. I hope you can understand my perspective on this, and frankly, I don’t think you know how Josh actually died. I think we should wait for the real information to come out, from the toxicology report.

      • Avatar
        Angel

        Its the world wide web, its free – it was made free – it’s researched to be free, you search your answers on GOOGLE free. Its FREE. If its not free then we’ll hack it to be free! How did you sleep after writing this article for free on the WWW? You should pay your debt to Sir Tim Berners Lee for making the WWW free!

  40. Avatar
    Gainesville

    This is classless. Having your opinion is fine, but deciding to voice it in such a careless way is irresponsible. I wish you had taken the time to be more respectful of someone’s life while writing this. Arguing your view on Grooveshark is one thing, but you should be ashamed for trying to completely discredit someone you did not truly know. I sincerely hope you are never on the other end of this ignorance and hate.

    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      I know enough. I’ve witnessed firsthand how Josh, Sam Tarantino and other Grooveshark executives behaved, and more than that, their attorneys and investors. I refuse to accept that Josh was some saint outside of the ruthless and destructively selfish behavior I witnessed first hand; this was way more than ‘just business’. I really think these guys were pathological; they would do anything to win, and I mean anything, no matter who they had to step on, cheat, or put out of business. You can see that in the court filings, the exhibits that surfaced, and their now-dead company.

      Yeah, I’m not going to honor that, sorry. Call it bad timing, I don’t really care.

  41. Avatar
    Rick

    Ruthless? He was in his early 20’s, and just legally able to have beer, when the created a music service and yes, they told there employees to upload music. They mistakenly, and ignorantly believed they were right side of the law due to their technology architecture. They were not. They worked to hard to try to overcome their mistakes, cut deals with the record industry, and stay in business. They could not.

    Josh was not ruthless – he was a 28 year old kid trying to keep himself and his business alive – he was not able to do either. I witnessed him work his ass off to find employment for all the employees he cared about once the doors were shut. He cared about people, and had a humanity in him that you clearly lack. You have no f’ing idea what you are talking about.

    This article is the one of the worst things I have ever read. You sir, are a duchebag.

  42. Avatar
    The Ghost Of Jerry Garcia

    I’ve read/witnessed COUNTLESS people, online and real life, get torn out a new one …. but not like this :-/

  43. Avatar
    Anonymous

    This is just nasty. Thankfully, no one reads this shit-ass industry rag once they leave the music industry. Seriously, everyone I’ve even bothered to mention DMN to is like, “huh? What’s that?” If it looks like a personal blog, sounds like a personal blog…

    Get over it. Streaming is the future, you old geezers. Y’all just mad cause you’re broke! 7And younger, smarter kids found a way to give the people what they want.

    Also.. Paul… Your mobile site is a complete piece of shit. Maybe you should hire some young, savvy tech kids to help with that. I think Josh Greenberg may have taught a few 😉

  44. Avatar
    KF

    Josh Greenberg was my friend and a HUMAN BEING. There is absolutely no reason to post something so heartless during the time when his friends and family are mourning. Shame on you.

  45. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Does anyone else find it ironic (or inconsistent) that the comments section requires us to verify our humanity before posting to such an article? Maybe the author should be given such a test??

    • Avatar
      Kaity

      I absolutely agree. I just happened across this article and was completely and utterly disgusted. It’s the first and last article I will ever read on this site. There are such things as class, professionalism, code, honor, respect…things that this writer lacks. The article is cruel and petty. And Paul can say whatever he wants about how death doesn’t matter, but the truth is that it does. Josh Greenberg’s family is grieving. They’ll be grieving for a long time. If they stumble across this, how do you think they’d feel? It’d be like salt in a wound. Paul, if you lose a loved one, and then someone else who didn’t like that loved one went on to write something like this a week after their death, you’d be upset too. You can’t say you wouldn’t. We’ve all made mistakes. We all have people who dislike us. Clearly, you’ll have more than most, considering your despicable attitude and truly awful writing.

  46. Avatar
    Corey D

    Paul,

    I remember what happened; the lawsuits, the pains, the money. Tales of Groovesharkian behaviors at negotiating tables were easy to find; everyone was talking about it at every conference that ever was. They were kids to the rest of us. Anyone who has ever read DMN knows your history with Grooveshark. I don’t know why you didn’t wait a few days (a week, even) to publish this, except for the fact that it got you many many eyeballs, including mine, at a time when I never read DMN anymore, at all, ever. When a friend pointed this out to me, I was afraid to read it. I knew you’d do your best to rile people up, rather than exhibit grace. I knew you wouldn’t understand why it might not be the right time to tell YOUR story, but I didn’t expect that you’d pick a fight with a dead kid. While you got my eyeballs back this one time, you made them bawl and water and leak like a baby. I’m crying while I write this comment. I’m tearful for what we have all done, all of us, in this lackluster business: we’ve put the business ahead of our lives, our grace. It’s ok Paul, I did the same thing once, too. I drowned away my grace through an irrational passion for artist rights. But as time does what it does, and more lives are lost, I hope we learn to accept that it really was “the wild west” in digital music, it still is, and we can all respect each other for one common thread, the most important of all: irrational passionate love of music and art & sharing it. You shared that with Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Greenberg shared it with you, and so you are one in the same at your core. We all are.

  47. Avatar
    Ayessa Melgar

    Paul Resnikoff, you have problems. Fuck you. Your Blog is a joke, as is your so called industry.

  48. Avatar
    anonymous

    You, and this publication are garbage. No one gives a fuck about your stupid opinion. The man is gone, the company is gone. He has family and friends who care about him. You fucking suck, dude.

  49. Avatar
    SeriouslyPaulDoIt

    Paul. You should kill yourself Paul. You would be doing your friends and family a favor by killing yourself Paul. The world would be a better place without you in it. Then I’ll write a blog post enumerating all the ways I find you to be a shitty human being, and all the ways you failed at life.

    Kill yourself. Tonight. Now. Do it.

  50. Avatar
    OldFart

    So many people screaming that Paul is a horrible person. I reread the article to see if I missed something. I can’t find one place where Paul says he is happy that Josh died. He was merely recounting the way he was legally abused by a bogus law suit that had no other purpose than to try to run his site out of business.

    Although I understand people being incensed at the timing of the article, HOW LONG should he have waited? (“Forever”, i.e. never publish the article, is NOT a valid answer)

    The truth is often “not pretty”. It sounds like Josh was a terrific human being, in general. That does not somehow nullify the fact that the service/website he started was a huge copyright infringement device. Bill Gates is a huge philanthropist. I prefer Windows over Linux or Apple. That does not mitigate the fact that Microsoft should never have been able to grow the way it did, i.e. by forcing PC vendors (in the early 90s) to purchase a copy of Windows for EVERY PC they sold (if they wanted a discount), even if the consumer wanted OS/2 installed. The DOJ was too late to the party to prevent that ridiculously obvious violation of all kinds of anti-monopolistic laws but it doesn’t mean it was not illegal/immoral.

    Yes, I used Grooveshark for a while but I only listened to songs that I knew I had purchased, either on a CD or via a legal site. I even “supported” Peter Gabriel’s demands that his songs be removed from Grooveshark while others were blasting him. Sure, it wasn’t a great PR move but he was totally within his rights. However, I stopped using Grooveshark altogether because although I was not using it to listen to songs I had not purchased, I realized that the site was making ad revenue and not paying the artists the way they claimed they were.

    I wish Josh HAD lived much longer so that his POSITIVE works could have reached and influenced a much wider audience. Again, that doesn’t negate what Grooveshark was.

  51. Avatar
    A human

    Wow

    Sick trashy music industry, you screw it all up as you always have. Middlemen complaining about not getting money to the artists, despite the fact that the industry screws over the musicians it purports to help while padding its pockets.

    We are so happy that the great gods of internet business are now in control. We can now continue in our quest to glorify the greatest god, Mammon, as we create musical tastes by limiting content and manufacturing consent to the almighty dollar. This perverted article and its ilk can now continue their ruthless assault on art and music, and help art, culture, and ethics to remain under Mammon’s control. Please select what should be heard and read and seen so we can continue our *not* ruthless assault on culture. They are just entertainers to be used for our wealth-generating purposes, and we will continue to create systems that limit our perspectives to only what you can sell us, be it music, art, news, or just writing trash like this. Now we can get back to worshiping computer nerds, sports heroes, large corporations, top 40 stars, and the other essential icons we have access to through our industry created blinders. If only we could be uploaded, and enjoy our creation in endless manufactured bliss! Then Mammon could exploit our bodies, fully realizing the slave labor model that our bodies perform here in the real world under capitalism. Meanwhile, in our virtual existence, we won’t have to be held accountable for our complicity in creating a greed based slave system for humanity!

  52. Avatar
    Russian guy

    The dead guy didn’t take a penny from me. It’s the greedy money suckers from the big companies who never get enough and always want us to pay more and more and more. That’s why they live (on our money). And those who don’t obey to their rules die, just like Greenberg

  53. Avatar
    The Captain

    “They were lying to artists, screwing artists”

    I assume you were talking about the music labels.
    They have been doing it since the day they were created.
    This is why there are so many independent artists.
    They have seen how the major companies screw artists with
    very unfavorable contracts.

    And you sir are a very vile and narrow minded person that
    speaks ill of a dead person.

  54. Avatar
    Keith Lamb

    Just because you have a blog doesn’t make you some kind of music expert. Your just a typical Kike.
    Fuck off Paul.