Escape Media Group’s Groove Shark, a very popular mobile app for music sharing and discovery, was faced with a lawsuit from Universal Music Group last month. Today it’s been revealed that Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group are preparing to join the suit.
Grooveshark isn’t an off the cuff piracy underground run by a arrogant kid like Sean Parker, dodging record labels left and right. They’ve actually carved out a nice business with loyal users and a loyal following. In fact companies as large as Mercedez Benz are part of Grooveshark’s advertising roster.
More after the break
Grooveshark contends that they are protected by the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The act provides a safe harbor to companies that host third party material on the internet as long as they comply with takedown notices from the actual copyright holders.
In a nutshell, the way this works is if Grooveshark gets a takedown notice it must be from the person that holds the copyright which might not necessarily be the record label. Labels can’t send over blanket requests for all of their artists. If they are the copyright holder the label needs to send an individual notice for each offending track.
While the “majors” are preparing to battle it out with Grooveshark in court, indie labels are flocking to the service. Grooveshark announced earlier this week new deals with: American Myth Recordings, Partisan Records, Daly City Records, Zodlounge and Fountain Media.
“GROOVESHARK is excited to add labels of this caliber to our growing list of partners,” said GROOVESHARK SVP of Music Strategy Jack DeYoung about the new label partnerships. “We’re looking forward to introducing their artists to a whole new audience and producing the most cost-effective artist promotion available.”
In regards to the looming lawsuits from Sony and Warner Grooveshark gave the following statement to the New York Times:
“We respect the intellectual property of all artists, and our strict policies are designed to ensure that our users only upload content to which they are entitled. This is a policy which we vigorously enforce within D.M.C.A. requirements.”