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Android evict Grooveshark from app store

By | Published on Thursday 7 April 2011


Google have evicted the mobile app for the slightly controversial Grooveshark streaming music service from their Android Market platform, meaning users of Android smartphones won’t be able to use the mobile version of the Grooveshark service without hacking their devices. The Grooveshark iPhone app was removed from Apple’s store last year.

According to CNET, Grooveshark was taken off the Android Market because it “violates Google’s terms of service”. But Billboard reckon that the app has really been removed at the request of the major record companies, and most likely Universal. Certainly that was the reason the American streaming platform disappeared from Apple’s app store.

As previously reported, Grooveshark claims to be a legit digital outfit, pointing out it has licences from EMI and some indies, and that it operates a takedown system in accordance with the DMCA. But many in the industry, especially at the majors, and especially at Universal, do not agree, arguing that Grooveshark’s free in-part-unlicensed streaming service is hindering the growth of subscription-based streaming platforms in the US. So much so Universal are suing them.

Grooveshark built its catalogue of music by allowing users to upload their MP3 collections. In some ways it’s a great idea, in that it hands over the hassle of digitising catalogue to the fans, and means Grooveshark’s library is much more comprehensive than many of its competitors, who are still waiting for the majors to get round to converting huge amounts of their older content into MP3. But it also means a certain portion of the Grooveshark library is online without the rights holders’ consent.

Billboard reckon the timing of Grooveshark’s eviction from the Android app store is significant. Google’s legal man Kent Walker is testifying before the US government’s House Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee on piracy issues this week, meanwhile execs in the web giant’s music department are reportedly talking to major label bosses about them licensing a digital locker service. It’s thought one major or another used those facts to put extra pressure on App Team Android to remove the Grooveshark app.