Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why The Grooveshark Ruling Should Scare YouTube

Grooveshark logo image
Grooveshark is the music streaming service that everyone uses at least sometimes, but gets no respect, especially from the music industry. In fact, Grooveshark has been laden with lawsuits from the major labels over the last few years over users uploading copyrighted songs illegally, a fact that has weighed the company down significantly.

Despite having a healthy 30 million users a month, the service has been struggling with cashflow thanks to the legal hassles that the suits entailed. Things just got worse for the company when a 5 judge panel of the New York Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling and concluded that any song created before 1972 that was uploaded to the service should have the same "safe harbor" protections offered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as a song written after 1972.

What that means is that not only must Grooveshark remove any copyrighted song from that period if given notice of infringement by the controller of the copyright, but that it can also be charged as a party to the infringement as well. This, of course, opens the company up to all sorts of potential lawsuits that can bring an already struggling company to its knees.

While Grooveshark is clearly the focus of this suit and controversy, it also brings the same type of scrutiny to YouTube and all other video sites however, a fact that should be making them extremely nervous about now.

Now the saving grace for YouTube in all this is that so far this is a lawsuit based in New York, where Grooveshark does business, and each state has their own interpretations of the same law, but a precedent has been set.

Google has some mighty deep pockets that can hold their own in just about any legal fight, but you know that this is not a fight that they need or want. Copyright holders might see this as another source of income however, one that they might feel has rightfully eluded them for many years, and move along a new round of legal action based upon the ruling quickly.


Interested in the Music 3.0 archives? Buy The Music 3.0 Guide To Social Media. The best of over 800 posts.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...