|The sharks smell blood in the water around Grooveshark, and are zeroing in on the streaming music service. It came to light last week that the latest Grooveshark news was that a new lawsuit had been filed for copyright infringement, by allowing users to illegally listen to or download copyrighted materials. The lawsuit was filed by a collective group of songwriters.
The plantiffs so far include Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, and Mark Weiss, the guy gave the world "Rhinestone Cowboy" and actually wants to get paid for it. EMI Music and Universal Music Group have gone through litigation with Grooveshark, with Universal still pending and the EMI case being settled.
Here's what all of the hubub is about, pulled from the filing made in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee"
Grooveshark also allows, encourages, promotes and facilitates users (subscribers and non-subscribers alike) to “share” music from Grooveshark via e-mail, distribution through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., and allows, encourages, promotes and facilitates users to distribute music from Grooveshark through what is commonly referred to as a “widget”, which allows users to post any number of songs on another website or internet blog for the purpose of distribution of copyrighted music to other internet users from Grooveshark and the promotion/advertisement of Grooveshark, all at no cost to the user.
I love how when they say that its commonly referred to as a "widget," and put it in "quotes," it completely trivializes the whole stature of the major legal claim that they're making ...
ANYWAY, it stands to reason that Grooveshark is facing the same legal hurdle that so many other have before them: although intended for people to share music on more of a one to one basis, or for copyright holders like bands or recording labels to make their music accesible for promotional purposes, other people will obviously upload copyrighted material that they don't own. Then sites like Grooveshark make themselves target for big lawsuits, unless they can succesfully show that they act in good faith to remove copyrighted material.
Grooveshark has an area of its site dedicated to DMCA compliance, so it looks like the site is on track for maintaining a copyright front and acting in good faith. Maybe they'll get sued out of existence, maybe they'll be able to stand up to the legal pressure. This one's just beginning ...
Grooveshark can also be used on mobile devices with various mobile apps, including android, Palm, BlackBerry Nokia, and only a jail-broken iPhone.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.