The rough waters continue for Grooveshark today, as EMI has filed a new break of contract and copyright infringement lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit couldn’t come at a worse time for the music service, in the wake of Google banning the Grooveshark Android app from the Google Play app marketplace (twice).
"While we always strive to keep lines of communication open with rights holders, artists and all other interested parties, disagreements inevitably arise, as is true in any business, particularly one that is pushing for innovation and industry change,” Grooveshark said in a statement. "We remain confident that we will be able to resolve our dispute with EMI."
EMI says in the lawsuit that should the deal ever be terminated, Grooveshark agreed that their management would not invoke the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects web services from responsibility for the copyright violations committed by their users – provided of course that they meet the requirements of the provision.
"Grooveshark can't invoke the Safe Harbor," EMI said in its complaint. "It specifically agreed in the settlement agreement and distribution agreement that it would not permit or allow the exploitation of any EMI recordings unless there was an EMI content agreement in place."
Despite labels making several legal claims against Grooveshark over the years, the music service remains steadfast that they are DMCA compliant, claiming to act quickly in removing infringing works from their site when notified by copyright owners. Just how this contractual obligation with EMI affects Grooveshark's DMCA assertion is yet to be seen.
This all comes after a humiliating reversal by Google to ban the Grooveshark Anrdoid app yet again after being removed in 2011 for violating its polices.