May 1, 2015 at 3:57 AM (PT)
The online streaming website GROOVESHARK has shut down as part of a settlement agreement with the music industry.
In SEPTEMBER of last year (NET NEWS 9/30/14), ALL ACCESS reported that like NAPSTER, LIMEWIRE, GROKSTER and other online outlets before it, GROOVESHARK came under fierce attack from the recording industry for hosting music files without permission. GROOVESHARK -- based in GAINESVILLE, FL, and identified in court papers by its parent company, ESCAPE MEDIA GROUP -- made millions of songs available for streaming. Judge THOMAS P. GRIESA ruled that GROOVESHARK was liable for copyright infringement because its own employees and officers -- including CEO SAMUEL TARANTINO and CTO JOSHUA GREENBERG, "uploaded a total of 5,977 of the labels’ songs without permission. Those uploads are not subject to the 'safe harbor' provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."
GROOVESHARK posted a notice posted on the company’s website, explaining they must also erase any records of copyrighted material, hand over their online and mobile platforms, and surrender their patents and intellectual property.
GROOVESHARK wrote, "Dear music fans,
Today we are shutting down Grooveshark.
We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite [the] best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service.
That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.
As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all the data on our servers and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.
At that time of our launch, few music services provided the experience we wanted to offer and think you deserve. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. There are now hundreds of fan friendly, affordable services available for you to choose from, including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody and Rdio, among many others.
If you love music and respect the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders. You can find out more about the many great services available where you live here: http://whymusicmatters.com/find-music.
It has been a privilege getting to know so many of you and enjoying great music together. Thank you for being such passionate fans.
Yours in music,
Your friends at Grooveshark”