Grooveshark was one of the first online services that let you play almost any song you wanted, on demand, with no restrictions. It closed down Thursday and it won’t be coming back, according to a statement on the website.
“We made very serious mistakes,” said the statement. “We failed to secure licences from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. “That was wrong. We apologise. Without reservation,” it said.
Grooveshark’s musical catalogue consisted of copyrighted files uploaded by users, with no compensation for the artists or other rights holders. Consequently, Sony, Warner and Universal Music took legal action against the service in 2011. Apple removed the iOS Grooveshark app from its App Store in 2010 following a complaint from Universal, and the app was taken off the Android market the following year.
The labels alleged Grooveshark had illegally shared just under 5,000 songs, with a potential legal bill of $736m. Even if the shut-down ends the legal action started by Warner, Sony, and Universal Music, the founders may still face financial penalties should they violate the terms of their agreement with the labels.
“This is an important victory for artists and the entire music industry,” said theRecording Industry Association of America in a statement. It said Grooveshark had built its business without providing proper compensation to artists. “This settlement ends a major source of infringing activity,” it said.
There is wildly contrasting news for two music streaming services as one, Spotify, announced an impressive new funding round and the other finally shut its doors.