Digital Music News (DMN), a popular website for the music industry, was recently served with a subpoena in relation to an ongoing lawsuit against Grooveshark dealing with copyright infringement (they also face a claim of failure to pay royalties). You can read more about the Grooveshark lawsuit via the New York Times HERE. DMN’s response is the linked article at the top of the page, in which they refuse to comply with the subpoena.
This all stems from an anonymous comment that accused Grooveshark employees of uploading music they did not have a license for, to the Grooveshark service. The problem here is two fold… I haven’t read the lawsuit against Grooveshark, but if the main evidence of impropriety is an anonymous comment on a website, then I think anyone that leaves comments on articles they read online needs to be a little concerned. The other side is obviously that if Grooveshark is actually partaking in this practice, using their executives/staff to uploading music they don’t hold a license too, it’s a prime example of why there is a tension between the major record labels and technology — it can be abused far too easily.
It will be interesting to see Grooveshark’s next move and how this gets resolved, as Grooveshark’s livelihood is likely at stake with their infringement and royalty lawsuits. Just recently Grooveshark had to close their German operations due to the high licensing cost GEMA, Germany’s performing rights organization, requested.
More updates as they come.