And here come the Grooveshark clones.
The major labels brutally wiped Grooveshark.com from existence back in April, seizing all assets including servers, trademarks, and various first born. Even cocky co-founder Josh Greenberg was mysteriously found dead a few months later, a dark caveat for anyone deciding to poke this bear.
But burning down the village didn’t address a swarm of lingering traffic, with millions in brand equity ripe for exploitation. Enter a slew of copycats and clones, who collectively captured a percentage of lingering Grooveshark traffic with infringing content and low-rent pop-up ads. That included Grooveshark.io, one of the biggest clones operating from the shadowy, overseas cave (but now ripped down).
Now, that mole has been severely whacked. Just this week, a federal judge fined the perpetrators behind Grooveshark.io $17.9 million for willful infringement and trademark counterfeiting. In terms of the breakdown from Groovershark.io, $13.5 million was the fine for infringing on 89 copyrights belonging to 10 different recording labels, while $4.4 million was awarded to UMG Recordings for trademark counterfeiting and cybersquating.
Trademark counterfeiting? That’s right: when Grooveshark lost their case, they lost virtually everything, including their name and prized url. Those jewels now belong to Universal Music Group, with grooveshark.com now redirecting to ScoreBig ticketing.
But it’s not clear who, exactly, will be paying this grooveshark.io fine. The decision was handed down by US District Court judge Alison J. Nathan, with shadowy figures on the other end. A default judgment was entered against defendants Vita Tkach and 10 ‘John Does,’ the perpetrators behind Grooveshark.io (as well as Grooveshark.pw) who appear to be somewhere in the Ukraine. None of those individuals showed up for the case, and most likely, there isn’t a $17.9 million check in the mail.
Meanwhile, Grooveshark clones continue to percolate. That includes grooveshark.im, a top result on Google.
Written while listening to Jahlil Beats.
Send industry tips to email@example.com, or (310) 928-1498. Total confidentiality protected.