Music Business

UK Labels Move To Block Grooveshark, US Exec Found Murdered

Grooveshark-logoThe BPI, a trade organization representing the UK recorded music industry, has begun what is likely the initial steps leading to Grooveshark being blocked by UK ISPs. Spared from the previous rounds of site blocking, possibly due to lawsuits and licensing agreements being worked out at the time, Grooveshark may be the primary target of this round. In separate news, Grooveshark employees are mourning the death of a co-worker, Director of International Sales Eddy Vasquez.

Last week TorrentFreak broke the news that preliminary moves towards blocking Grooveshark in the UK appear to be underway.

Grooveshark Spared in Previous Rounds

According to TorrentFreak, the BPI previously conducted "two major rounds of bulk site blocking in the UK" with the initial help of music licensing firm PPL.

This blocking process began each time with:

"communications sent out to members of music licensing outfit PPL in which they are asked if the sites listed have procured any licenses. The information is sent back to the BPI and then several months later court-ordered High Court blocking takes place."

Oddly enough, the second time this occurred, earlier this year, Grooveshark was on the initial list but was removed, possibly due to music licensing deals that were being put in place.

However the licensing deals were the result of litigation against Grooveshark (e.g., EMI Publishing and SONY/ATV Music Publishing) so it's also possible that they were waiting to see how such legal actions played out.

Whatever the exact process, a possible third round is likely to include Grooveshark. So I guess BPI and major labels still aren't satisfied.

Prelude to Blocking

As TorrentFreak explains, PPL sent out "fresh correspondence" for the BPI asking members if they've licensed "recorded music to the operators of the Grooveshark website in the UK."

They're asking for response by November 11 so, based on previous timelines, they may not complete this process till early next year.

The BPI said it's all routine, nothing to worry about, though TorrentFreak describes the situation as "fairly obvious."

TorrentFreak sought a response from Grooveshark "but in line with our requests for comment on similar topics in the past, the company failed to respond to our emails."

Sad Times for Grooveshark

Though it's not directly related to licensing issues, Grooveshark recently suffered a deep loss with the shooting and murder of Eddy Vasquez, Director of International Sales.  In a statement the company said, "Grooveshark as a company mourns the tragic loss of one of its employees, Eddy D. Vasquez.  Mr. Vasquez was visiting friends and family in the Tampa Bay area over the weekend when he fell victim to a senseless act of violence."


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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