Music Business

Grooveshark Responds To Lawsuit Loss Defiantly, Vows To Continue

image from grooveshark.comStreaming music service Grooveshark, which has been in court with labels and other rights holders since launching, is trying to dismiss this week's legal defeat old news.  "This latest news dealt specifically with an early version of Grooveshark which we dispensed of in 2008 in favor of our current music streaming service," claims Grooveshark. "As such, we will continue to work with all parties to ensure we respect all artist and songwriter copyrights."

It's unclear if the major labels agree.

"Grooveshark’s service has already provided millions of dollars in revenue to artists and labels all over the world, and we are incredibly proud of this," the company's answer continued. "We will operate our business with accountability, honesty and courage, and will continue to do so."

New York District Court Judge Judge Thomas Griesa ruled Monday that Grooveshark and its parent company Escape Media Group are liable for copyright infringement by its employees who were encouraged to upload 5,977 tracks without proper licencing.  “Each time Escape streamed one of plaintiffs’ songs recordings, it directly infringed upon plaintiffs’ exclusive performance rights,” the Griesa wrote in his 57-page decision.

Thus far, the judge has not awarded damages or ordered Grooveshark to shut down.  Since 2008, Grooveshark has cut some deals with labels and publishers, but others remain unsigned.

Industry observers are now asking two questions:

image from grooveshark.com1) Can Grooveshark survive the fines and court costs that will inevitably flow from this and subsequent lawsuits?

2) With this victory in hand and so many alternative music services who followed their playbook,  will all of the major music industry players be motivated to forgive Grooveshark and cut longer term deals with the upstart?


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