Grooveshark Is Being Sued By All Four Major Music Labels

Illustration for article titled Grooveshark Is Being Sued By All Four Major Music Labels

That questionably legal music service Grooveshark is in hot water again. EMI, the one big music label it has a licensing deal with, is suing its ass.


The New York Times reports that, on Wednesday, EMI Music Publishing filed a suit against Grooveshark's parent company, the Escape Media Group.

EMI claim that Escape Media has breached the contract they struck up in 2009, saying that it has "made not a single royalty payment to EMI, nor provided a single accounting statement." The New York Times suggests that Grooveshark currently owes EMI at least $150,000 in royalties. Oops.

Grooveshark's business model relies on the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: a federal law that protects Internet companies that host third-party material if they comply with take-down notices from copyright holders. That lets Grooveshark host users uploads. Just about.

Obviously, it's not gone down too well in music label land. Last year, Universal, Warner and Sony Music all filed copyright infringement cases against Grooveshark. With EMI joining the fight, it can't be long before Grooveshark heads to the great goldfish bowl in the sky. Good luck, Grooveshark. [New York Times; Image: StringsOfASoul]


This really blows because after using Pandora (free), (paid $3/mo), and Grooveshark ($30/yr, at the time), Grooveshark was simply the best streaming service.

Grooveshark was a little glitchy, as an app, but of all 3, it had the most release support and it had improved, greatly over 2011. The 3 biggest features of Grooveshark (which probably is what tied the Record Labels' panties in a knot) is that I could cache/offline my music, I could create my own playlists/favorites and I had full search/play controls, just like an MP3 player. The Offline mode was essential because I get almost no 3G signal at the gym. I will say, Grooveshark had the worst "radio" mode, commonly playing songs I dislike.

Last.FM has the best app, by far, and their radio mode is also the best. Particularly because I have scrobbled all of my "owned" music onto my playlist, very few times does play something I don't like. The only 2 issues I have, particularly because the RIAA is the puppet master. I have no control over what I hear and I cannot go back and re-listen. I also cannot listen to songs offline, which means I have a long silence gap between songs when my signal is good, and I have NO music when my signal is bad. I sit in dead silence when I'm at my gym.

Pandora is my least favorite. Music suggestions have always been hit or miss, ads are annoying as hell. Once more, signal problems mean long gaps of silence between songs, and I have no control over what I listen to.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to risk paying Grooveshark for another year, they probably won't be around by then, or they'll be shackled to the RIAAs idea of a FUCKING TERRIBLE music-listening experience. I guess my only option is to go back to MP3s and get a larger micro-SD card.

For the record, and I don't care how this is taken, so don't comment: Grooveshark was the LAST chance for the Music Industry to make any royalties off of me. Last.FM was good, but I paid for one month to try it out, I'm not going to continue, not if my phone can't get enough signal to justify the app. MP3s will be the way I go, and I'm not talking about paid MP3s. ;)