Music Business

Grooveshark Fires Back After Spotify CEO Calls Them A “Pirate Service”

image from s3.amazonaws.comThe subject of multiple lawsuits, Grooveshark has long been music streaming's bad boy; and that extends to a willingness to fight back when someone throws a punch. That certainly was this case today as EVP Corporate Communications  James A. Pearson shot back at Spotify CEO Daniel Ek after he very publicly dubbed Grooveshark a "pirate service."

Ek's comments were part of a longer open letter that we published yesterday on the Taylor Swift controversary and the value he beleives Spotify brings to artists and the music industry. Ek wrote:

spotify"You can’t look at Spotify in isolation – even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we’ve ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free. To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark."

James A. Pearson, EVP Corporate Communications of Grooveshark, responded via VentureBeat with this statement: 

grooveshark logo"We would normally never comment on a competitive service and their dust-up with one of the world’s most popular artists. But as Spotify’s CEO — who it’s worth mentioning is the recent CEO of uTorrent — an app used by over 100M people, which had similar perception issues — called Grooveshark ‘a pirate service’ in his blog response to Taylor Swift today, we had to comment on that element.

Copyright laws are complex, and many companies that are now household names in the space such as YouTube, Pandora, and SiriusXM have had to defend themselves at one point or another, just as has Grooveshark. Had Mr. Ek any actual factual information about our business model he would know Grooveshark currently has active licenses with thousands of music labels, publishers, and rights holders, as well as tens of thousands of individual artists. We respect musicians and work to create new ways to get their music heard by a worldwide audience – that’s the driving force behind our existence."

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1 Comment

  1. White Collar Crime. Bankers do it, so why not Grooveshark? Amazing that Mr Pearson, EVP Corporate Communications of Grooveshark is behind the protective glass sticking his tongue out.
    Next year, I will be personally spending a significant amount of time insuring that the Safe Harbor loophole is closed and recommending, not just fines, but 3 to 5 years jail time for principals like Mr Pearson, or he can opt to run a gauntlet past the songwriters and musicians who were never compensated by Grooveshark.

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