back to article Grooveshark closes, blames 'serious mistake' of not paying for music

Music streaming service Grooveshark has closed its doors, after admitting hadn't acquired rights to the music it streamed. The company on Thursday (US time) replaced its website with the statement below. Grooveshark closure message The writing's been on the wall for Grooveshark for some time, as earlier this week it learned …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uber & Airbnb

    "Startups who try to "disrupt" markets by flouting laws, however, now have a nasty cautionary case study to consider."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unless they're Google

      Grooveshark stole their argument, "the user posted it, you can ask us to take it down", from youtube, who have used it for years. Safe harbour isn't it?

      1. Graham Marsden

        @AC - Re: Unless they're Google

        You beat me to it. Grooveshark just weren't big enough to be able to get away with that argument.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC - Unless they're Google

          I think the killer allegation was that their own staff were uploading (and re-uploading after a take down) most of the mainstream stuff as part of their normal working day.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Anyone remember that search utility that found music from all over the Web and played it in a clean interface? It think it got bought and/or shut down by Microsoft several years ago. It's not MongoMusic and I can't find it in this list. It was like Grooveshark except without the expense of hosting the music.

    Edit: It was SeeqPod. I miss the days of SeeqPod.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remember

      It is now called Google, and YouTube.

      And to think, people focus on taking down The Pirate Bay.. sheesh...

  3. geejayoh

    ...and other rights holders

    That's always been my biggest issue - I'm all for compensating artists, but it's these "other rights holders". Who are they? What rights do they hold?

    Oh, yes, those rights where they essentially exhort musicians, artists and producers of content into contract where they receive 20% of any income generated off their works, so these parasitic middle man can "distribute" it for them.

    Is it Spotify who is to blame for not paying high enough royalties? Or the archaic contracts under which artists still operate to get "signed"...?


    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: ...and other rights holders

      I don't think anyone can reasonably argue against artists receiving rewards for their work, and a reasonable overhead being charged for production, distribution etc.

      I suspect what riles people is the thought that they're being charged CMP* tax by the companies to fund their "recreational pursuits".

      * Columbian marching powder

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    A raw deal, royalty-wise

    Or you could, y'know, buy CDs?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: A raw deal, royalty-wise

      In a very recent situation (last week), I found it was cheaper to buy two CDs with the download option from Amazon than to buy one download-only version. My phone now has two more albums'-worth of music, and my CD collection has three unopened CDs.

      I don't know whether this backs up Neil's argument or not ...

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: A raw deal, royalty-wise

      And/or second-hand CDs (see Zog passim). I bought one yesterday for a couple of tracks - £1.29 delivered!

    3. icesenshi

      Re: A raw deal, royalty-wise

      Nothing to do with it. Even buying cds, most artists receive a pittance royalty.

  5. Ralph B


    According to Copyright Math(s)", $750m at $80,000/song equates to 9,375 songs streamed. Groovesharke were running for 10 years, so that's only 2.5 songs shared per day.

    No wonder they went out of business.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: $750m?

      I think that figure was for each song in the catalog, not how often it was streamed. There's no info in previous articles of how many songs were in the catalog. The judge did allow the jury to level up $150,000 per song.

      1. Rimpel

        Re: $750m?

        Wikipedia claims "Grooveshark’s catalog streamed over 1 billion sound files per month, contained over 15 million songs and had 20 million users"

  6. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Sharks circling sharks...

    ...will always get messy!

  7. Jim 59

    Back in '84ish, CDs came out. Albums that had cost £7.99 on vinyl suddenly cost £15 on CD. The public was shocked. For the next 15 years, the music industry happily gouged us on CD sales, explaining the price hike (between sniggers) by saying CDs were more expensive to produce.

    Around '99, somebody pointed out that magazines costing £3 were able to give away "free" CDs on the cover. Cue ructions. The industry's argument was a smoking ruin, and investigations ensued. But the industry was to powerful. Prices dropped to £10 or so and stayed there.

    Then 2005, it all came crashing down: imesh, audiogalaxy,, etc. etc. etc. Digital Armageddon.

    So, they gouged us for 15 years, then we gouged them for 15 years. Is it now time to kiss and make up ? I think it is.

    1. Jay 2

      From the early to mid 90s to the mid/late 2000s I bought a *lot* of CDs. So I remember the £15(!) CDs. Toward the end of that time a lot of my CDs came via cdwow and who would sometimes be selling grey imports, as obviously getting stuff to the UK market over the English channel adds £2-3 per unit...

      Then came Napster and torrents etc and my CD buying lessened. And with iTunes/Amazon/etc selling DRM-free AAC/MP3/whatever then there was a slight upturn in purchases. But like a fellow commenter above, I'm still unsure of why an MP3 album from Amazon can cost more than the CD (which comes with pre-ripped MP3 anyway).

      So I think the final sentance of Jim 59's post pretty much sums it up. If music isn't paid for at all, then it'll either dissapear or just be the same old marketable shit. I suppose at least the music industry has eventually woken up when it comes to digital. The film and book industries could take some lessons...

      1. Jim 59

        I bought many CDs in the same era as Jay 2. Pocket money just about stretched to vinyl, but CD had to wait until I got a proper job. Nowadays I mainly buy CD from amazon and rip it. I would rather have the disk and data, than just the data.

        Miss it though. I remember visiting Virgin records (Durham) in school lunch hour, then being the cool guy at school with my new Stranglers record. Pretty cool.

  8. Nifty Silver badge

    " I'm still unsure of why an MP3 album from Amazon can cost more than the CD"

    added value - saves a trip to the landfill

  9. imanidiot Silver badge

    The entire music industrie

    needs to get their heads out of their asses

  10. kraftdinner

    Paying who? Surely not the artists themselves but the greedy bastards in the middle.

  11. phil dude

    cynical view...

    I quite like Grooveshark but not to play specific track - there's Youtube for that.

    Grooveshark offered "charts" of different genres of music, so new/different stuff might be worth sampling...

    I wonder if they got toppled in part because with 10,000,000 users they were actually influence the music purchased. I don't mean "punter downloads doesn't buy" as their streaming was only mono.

    I mean "punter can hear a wide variety and NOT buy certain tracks because they suck".


    1. Havin_it
      Thumb Up

      Re: cynical view...

      Bingo. The only person of my ken who uses it (a colleague) likes it for just this, and as a fly on the wall I've had my own tastes broadened as a result here and there. Besides, those using it to, as you say, play a specific track (i.e. most likely a mainstream popular track you heard elsewhere) would often be disappointed by the hit-rate of painfully shit-quality bootleg live recordings etc. When you're hearing and learning of a track for the first time, those preconceptions aren't there. (YMMV).

      While I expect the majors didn't much care for the whole people-trying-not-buying thing, worse still may have been that democratisation (or "idiocratisation" if you're a pessimist about the wisdom of crowds) of the music audience. If acts got big just because a lot of people liked them, well, what would you even need a label for really?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Douches didn't even give a warning so people could download a list of their bookmarked tracks.

    Now it's all lost.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: Collection/Favourites

      Yeahhhhh... Douches. And after all you've done for them, too :/

      I take it your cheque to help out with the fine is already in the post?

      I liked your first (ever) post better, this one felt a little too scripted somehow. Did you go anon because you reconsidered 'GroovesharkUser' as a handle?

  13. GroovesharkUser

    Douches didn't even give a warning so people could download a list of their bookmarked songs.

    Now it's all gone.

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