"It is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission," appeared to be Grooveshark's mantra. The company was defiant to the point of arrogance. They had nothing wrong, they insisted, as criticism and then lawsuits mounted, and were protected by DMCA safe harbor provisions. Now the site has shut down, and they are singing a very different tune.
Just as a long series of legal battles were concluding with Grooveshark exposed to as much as $736 million in damages, the company has settled with the RIAA and shut down the site. The court had ruled that Grooveshark and its founders had willfully copied and distributed unlicensed music.
Grooveshark parent Escape Media has agreed to has agreed to settle with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music; and shut to down the site "wiping its computer servers of all the record companies music, and surrendering ownership of its website, mobile apps and intellectual property," according to a statement from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
In their own statement posted on their shuttered site, the founders apologized: "Despite the best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on our service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.” The letter goes on to encourage former users to consume music legally.
Grooveshark was founded in 2007.
Here is the full text if the letter from founders: