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September 29, 2014

Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

 
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This evening Grooveshark, the popular music streaming service that has up to now managed to skirt accusations by copyright holders that is was hosting music files without paying appropriate royalties, was found to be guilty of massive copyright piracy.

Grooveshark’s defense has long been that it is legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the federal law that protects websites that host third-party material if they comply with takedown notices from copyright holders.

But on Monday, granting summary judgment in a case filed in 2011 by the three major record companies, Judge Thomas P. Griesa of United States District Court in Manhattan ruled that Grooveshark was liable for copyright infringement because its own employees and officers — including Samuel Tarantino, the chief executive, and Joshua Greenberg, the chief technology officer — uploaded a total of 5,977 of the labels’ songs without permission. Those uploads are not subject to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Each time Escape streamed one of plaintiffs’ songs recordings, it directly infringed upon plaintiffs’ exclusive performance rights,” the judge wrote in his opinion.

The judge also found that the company destroyed important evidence in the case, including lists of files that Mr. Greenberg and others uploaded to the service.




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