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Grooveshark’s Actions Infringe on Copyrights, Judge Rules
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Grooveshark's Actions Infringe on Copyrights, Judge Rules

Summary: A federal judge in Manhattan has ruled that Grooveshark’s music streaming service infringes on copyrights. The next step is to determine the amount of damages Grooveshark owes to those whose copyrights have been infringed upon, which could shut Grooveshark down for good.

According to VentureBeat.com, a federal judge in New York issued a ruling that may shut Grooveshark, a free music streaming service, down for good. Grooveshark, which was founded in 2006 and boasted that it had 35 million users in 2011, may soon have to shut its doors if it is forced to pay record labels a substantial amount of damages.

  
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Judge Thomas P. Griesa of the United States District Court in Manhattan ruled that the service infringed on thousands of major label copyrights.

Record labels have fought Grooveshark for years, and it appears that they may have finally gotten the result that they want. Grooveshark, which is based in Gainesville, Florida, has denied that it has infringed upon any copyrights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act states that websites are not liable for hosting copyrighted materials so long as they provide the copyright holders a mechanism for removing infringing material.

Judge Griesa’s ruling stems from the fact that employees and principals of Grooveshark uploaded nearly six thousand copyrighted music files themselves. Even worse, they attempted to destroy evidence that they had uploaded the music.

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Judge Griesa opined, “Each time Escape [Media Group, which owns Grooveshark] streamed one of plaintiffs’ songs recordings, it directly infringed upon plaintiffs’ exclusive performance rights.”

The next step in the case is determining the amount of damages Grooveshark may have to may out to plaintiffs for infringing upon their copyrighted material. In the past, damages awards have been significant, and a large enough award may put Grooveshark out of business.



Grooveshark’s attorney stated he and Grooveshark were “disappointed” with the judge’s ruling and are contemplating appealing the decision of the court.

Two other cases that were filed by record labels are pending against Grooveshark. One is in New York state court, and the other is in New York federal court.

Photo credit: mashable.com



 

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