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Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup: February 20, 2014

Labels Allege Grooveshark Destroyed Evidence, Required That Employees Infringe

image from www.intellectualpropertynews.comThe major labels vs. Grooveshark legal battle is heating with the RIAA led consortium now asking the court to grant a summary judgement against  parent company Escape Media along with founders Sam Tarantino and Joshua Greenberg.  “By any objective measure, Grooveshark is a linear descendant of infringing music services such as Napster, Grokster, and LimeWire, all shuttered by federal courts for large-scale copyright infringement,” label lawyers wrote the court, alongside new damaging evidence against the music streamer.

Infringement A Job Requirement At Grooveshark

According to the filings, Grooveshark allegedly instructed employees to create user accounts and store “hundreds of thousands of digital music files on their computers”, eventually uploading them to other users and shared on Grooveshark, which at the time resembeled a P2P service. 

“Thus, Defendants provided a substantial portion of the infringing content files used for the initial Grooveshark gavelservice,” say court documents. “Simply put, Defendants made it a job requirement that Escape’s employees engage in copyright infringement in order to attract users and thus benefit Defendants."

Destruction Of Evidence

The labels also allege that Grooveshark destroyed hundreds of thousands of those accounts used to upload music, including one used by founder Joshua Greenberg.  “[It] is an undisputed fact that Escape’s Chief Technology Officer, Joshua Greenberg, uploaded a massive volume of infringing copyrighted works to the Grooveshark service. However, despite explicit demands to preserve such evidence, Escape systematically deleted internal database records for Greenberg’s user account.”  

The new filings also allege destruction of evidence by other Grooveshark and Escape staffers; and seek punishment “for the repeated, wilful spoliation of multiple categories of key evidence... Had defendants not destroyed this evidence, it would have further demonstrated defendants’ liability for copyright infringement and exposed them to hundreds of millions of dollars in additional damages”

Sources: Law360, CMU, TorrentFreak