In November 2011, Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest recording label, charged music streaming service Grooveshark.
The label stated millions of dollars in damages and charged the company of huge copyright infringement. The allegations included claims that employers and other workers at the company, from the CEO down, individually uploaded thousands of infringing tracks to the service.
Common was later accompanied by Sony, Warner and a number of other labels who all needed the shutdown of the streaming service and fines up against the named employees. Recently activity in the case slowed down, but behind the curtain the discussions continued.
This has now led to a voluntary agreement between your labels and five Grooveshark employees. Nikola Arabadjiev is the just one who is still effective at the company. Grooveshark founder Sam Tarantino and co-founder Josh Greenberg have not signed an agreement.
The consent judgments acquired by TorrentFreak indicate trouble for Grooveshark, which until recently streamed countless songs without explicit authorization from copyright holders.
Below the agreement the named Grooveshark employees are banned from infringing copyrights of musical works possessed by the major labels. Additionally, they must no more work with a business that methodically infringes upon label copyrights.
The Defendant and all these acting in concert with the Defendant will be instantly and permanently enjoined from infringing by any means any copyright in any and just about all sound recordings, whether now around or later created, in which any kind of of the Plaintiffs own or control any exclusive rights under Section 106 of the United States Copyright Act the agreement reads.
This should include, however is not restricted to, copying, uploading, reproducing, disbursing, transmitting or openly performing any of the Copyrighted Works violating the United States Copyright Act, through the Grooveshark service or some other online streaming service, website, program, or peer-to-peer or file-trading program that operates without having authority or license from the appropriate Plaintiff or any of its licensees, it adds.
TorrentFreak approached Grooveshark and the record labels for review on the current developments. Grooveshark’s lawyers preferred not to discuss the developments and we have yet to notice back from the labels.
The present lawsuit is truly one of many Grooveshark has been pulled into over recent years. January last year EMI sued the music services over a contractual dispute, and Grooveshark has been obstructed following court orders in Germany and Denmark. Now, record labels in the UK revealed that they are preparing an ISP blockade of the site.
Through the years Grooveshark has always increasingly defended its business, arguing that it works within the boundaries of the law and eliminates unauthorized content when it turns into a DMCA takedown notice. On the other hand, they negotiated licensing handles the major labels.
Laws come from Congress. Licenses originate from businesses, Grooveshark is totally legal because we adhere to the laws passed by Congress, but we are not certified by every label Grooveshark’s Paul Geller said earlier.
Nevertheless, it appears as if the main labels probably desire to quash the site completely rather than legitimizing it through licensing deals.
At the time of composing the music program is still up and running and no settlement with Grooveshark has been joined. Yet, now that key defendants in case have struck a deal it would be no real surprise if parent company Escape Media follows suit.