Judge Rules Grooveshark's Way In UMG Lawsuit
July 12, 2012 at 8:37 AM (PT)
In late 2011, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP filed a copyright lawsuit against GROOVESHARK after it obtained e-mails and other records that show GROOVESHARK's leaders led an effort to post more than 100,000 pirated songs onto the music service (NET NEWS 12/12/2011). SONY and WMG eventually joined that legal action. UNIVERSAL argued that pre-1972 recordings were ineligible for protection under the D.M.C.A.
Now, THE NEW YORK TIMES reports, "GROOVESHARK's parent company, ESCAPE MEDIA GROUP, won a glimmer of hope with a court decision that undercut one of the UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP's two copyright infringement cases against it, and also opened the door for it to countersue the label for what could be millions of dollars in damages. But even if GROOVESHARK wins that case, it faces another, bigger infringement suit, as well as another claim in a dispute over publishing royalties -- and questions about whether it can hold on to those licenses it has managed to get."
Judge BARBARA R. KAPNICK struck down UNIVERSAL's argument, writing "There is no textual, or other reason, to think that CONGRESS intended to limit that distribution of responsibilities to only post-1972 recordings."