That Grooveshark is still in
business is a surprise to many. The music streaming service has
fought and mostly lost a series of lawsuits
with record labels since 2009. Will a new loss to
EMI by the final nail in this sharks’ coffin?
Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York has granted EMI Music’s motion for a
summary judgment against Escape Media, the parent company of
music streaming service Grooveshark for infringing on its
Damages for the 2807 EMI copyrighted tracks found on
Grooveshark’s servers could total $420 million. The court
set May 8th as the date to discuss damages, but Grooveshark can
appeal the ruling.
While Grooveshark has since shifted to a streaming model that
is more in compliance with current interpretations of the law,
the company is still reeling from its early years as a music
operating without required licences
from most labels and rights holders.
Grooveshark: Unfairly Targeted Innovator Or
Since 2009, Grooveshark has often sought to paint itself as an
innovator wronged by the big bad music companies. Even
after yesterday’s ruling, Grooveshark was defiant,
” We understand that courts are shaping this area
of the law at the same time that innovative companies like
Grooveshark and others operate on a daily basis.”
Grooveshark has claimed protection under the Digital Copyright
Management Act which shields some online companies who do not
encourage infringement and respond quickly to takedown notices.
Yesterday, Grooveshark again claimed that it does and spelled out its
“Our ‘one-strike’ repeat infringer policy is even
faster than the ‘three-strike’ policies used regularly in the
industry for stopping infringing uploads, and we believe our
‘DMCA Lite’ option goes above and beyond DMCA requirements by
executing good-faith takedowns in a variety of situations
where proper DMCA takedown notices are not provided.”
But, yet again a judge has ruled that Grooveshark’s policies
did not meet the standards set in the DMCA. According to
Billboard, Judge Nahan cited Grooveshark’s
failure to terminate repeat infringers while “actively”
preventing copyright holders from collecting the information
needed to process takedown requests.