Not so Groovy, Baby

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Grooveshark thought they had it all, until they were shut down for copyright infringement. These days the web makes it much easier for peer to peer file sharing, unfortunately this type of sharing creates major copyright issues.

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What is Grooveshark?

Grooveshark is a web based streaming service that allows users to upload audio files to share with others, stream music and sort into playlists. It even included a search engine feature. Launched in April of 2008, it took the form of a flash web player that allowed users to stream without downloading an app. In 2010 Grooveshark switched to HTML5 which completely voided Apple and Google’s decision not to make the service available on mobile devices.

The Glory Days

 At one point Grooveshark was flourishing. In 2010, Time’s on line supplement had listed Grooveshark as one of its 50 best websites. They were streaming over 1 billion sound bites each month and had 20 million users. Many used the services for free, but there were paid subscription options which let users opt out of advertisements and stream on mobile devices.

The Downfall

 Grooveshark faced scrutiny for years by companies claiming the music on the site did not have the proper copyrights. In 2010 Apple pulled the iOS application of Grooveshark. Universal Music Group (UMG) brought several lawsuits against Grooveshark including one in 2011 stating employees uploaded thousands of UMG owned recordings illegally.

The Ultimate Shutdown

 After learning that they could be liable for up to $736 million in damages, Grooveshark shut down its site in April 2015 and all ownership and property was transferred to Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.

The Lesson

In the digital media age, be careful what content you share and remember to give credit when credit is due. Copyright infringement is not groovy, baby.

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3 thoughts on “Not so Groovy, Baby

  1. lindsayw5

    In the letter to the music fans it states that they had been around nearly 10 years, but then it says it launched in April 2008. Did they have their hands in something else before they launched their own site? Just curious cause that caught my eye. Love the cartoon!

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    1. apodeszek Post author

      They started working together to create the site in 2007 and in 2008 they launched the first version of the actual website. They were working to create this site but it was only around 8 years total. I was confused by that when I was first researching it too!

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  2. azebulske

    I loved Grooveshark. I used to use this all the time before it was shut down. I understand the copyright stuff but what i don’t get is YouTube is doing the same thing GrooveShark was. If you search any song title followed by lyrics you can easily rip that song off of Youtube.

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