In April, Grooveshark was ousted from the Android Market for violating Google’s terms and condition. Now Grooveshark is firing back with a letter addressed to the music industry and in particular, Google and Apple.
Grooveshark offers over 6 million free songs by enabling users to post their own tracks and share them with others. That means users could be uploading copyrighted music to the system, which is why Grooveshark was forced to license EMI’s catalog in 2009 following accusations of copyright infringement. Universal Music Group filed similar suit a few months later, a case which has yet to be resolved.
Paul Geller of Grooveshark retorted in his letter, “Google hasn’t specified what it was in their ‘Terms of Service’ that we allegedly violated, but there does appear to be some confusion about whether Grooveshark is a legal service. So let’s set the record straight: there is nothing illegal about what Grooveshark offers to consumers.”
Geller goes on to explain that Grooveshark fully complies with laws passed by Congress, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) – although the company does not have a license from every music label.
Geller has faith in the DMCA’s Safe Harbor component because it “encourages technology companies to innovate in hopes that they will eventually solve some of the problems that are plaguing content producers today.”
Geller also attests Grooveshark has licenses from over a thousand labels, explaining “we pay for our streams, and we actively negotiate with virtually every single content owner.”
Geller explains that Grooveshark is dedicated to taking down illegal content. “We’ve taken down over 1.76 million files and suspended upload privileges to 22,274 users. These are not the characteristics of a company “‘dedicated to copyright infringement.'”
He says the idea is not to share illegal content, but rather promote music worldwide. “Labels, managers, and artists that take advantage of our full gamut of services know how effectively Grooveshark’s application can streamline expenses and generate revenue.”
Geller finishes the letter by saying:
“In light of the recent misleading press concerning Grooveshark’s application, it is important to make clear that we will defend our service, and the letter and the spirit of the law, in court and in Congress. We will defend our name and our ideals for the sake of our users who expect modern delivery systems and comprehensive access across devices, for the sake of artists and content owners who fear another decade of decline, and for other innovators who continue to bring new ideas to market through the expression of creativity in the form of technology.
“We ask that Google and Apple, embrace the spirit of competition and do right by users in making our applications available to consumers immediately.”
Will Google and Apple ever reinstate Grooveshark? Probably not until major music labels come to some sort of a licensing agreement with the company or with Google and Apple.
(Via Digital Music News)