Earlier this week, music service Grooveshark lost the groove. And, by lost the groove – I mean found itself in the sixth circle of hell I like to call Copyright Infringement Land. A federal judge in New York ruled the online music service infringed upon thousands of copyrights.
Grooveshark came before online streaming services, such as Spotify. Grooveshark’s model made millions of songs available for streaming. In 2011, according to the New York Times article HERE, Grooveshark had nearly 35 millions users. Further, the site had attracted companies who paid money to advertise on the site.
Grooveshark’s argument was that since it was a third party site, it was legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it only hosted third party material. Meaning, any copyright owner could write-in or submit a complaint under the DMCA guidelines have their content removed.
The judge on Monday was not buying it. There was evidence that officers in Grooveshark actively participated in uploading infringing content. To me, the fact the service was also accepting advertising dollars and profiting off of illegally placed music was also persuasive.
For my attorney readers, check out the more in-depth analysis on one of my favorite must read blogs Copyhype.com HERE.
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