New York Appellate Court Hands A Loss To Grooveshark In UMG Lawsuit
April 24, 2013 at 4:20 AM (PT)
A NEW YORK appellate court ruled YESTERDAY (4/23) that websites that had users uploading music recorded prior to 1972 are responsible for that copyright violation. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed against GROOVESHARK by UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP. MEDIAPOST reports, "The appellate court ruled that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions don't apply to pre-1972 sound recordings. Those safe harbors say that Web services providers aren't liable for users' infringement, as long as the online companies remove pirated material upon the content owner's request."
The appeals court came to its decision becase it felt allowing GROOVESHARK to claim the safe harbors for pre-1972 songs would limit UMG's common law rights.
"Had the DMCA never been enacted, there would be no question that UMG could sue defendant in NEW YORK STATE courts to enforce its copyright in the pre-1972 recordings, as soon as it learned that one of the recordings had been posted on GROOVESHARK," the court wrote.
MEDIAPOST notes, "The judges discounted GROOVESHARK's contention that Congress didn't intend to require Web services to police sites for infringement by users."
"We reject defendant’s argument that the very purpose of the DMCA will be thwarted if it is deemed not to apply to the pre-1972 recordings," the court wrote.