Business News Digital Grooveshark Timeline

Grooveshark clone goes live

By | Published on Wednesday 6 May 2015


While may be resting in peace following the deal done between the record industry and the often controversial streaming site’s founders last week, is streaming just fine thank you very much.

Yes, an anonymous person has put Grooveshark back online having seemingly foreseen the imminent demise of the streaming music site and cloned up to 90% of its content. Said person, using the pseudonym Shark, tells The Verge: “I was connected to Grooveshark a few years back and I have, together with the team I’ve gathered, the knowledge and the technological abilities to bring it back to life”.

As previously reported, after years of conflict between the Grooveshark company and the record industry, the streaming service finally shut up shop last week, issuing a full and frank apology for infringing copyrights while in business and urging users to sign up to fully licensed streaming platforms like Spotify, Deezer or Rdio.

Grooveshark operated in a grey area of copyright law, claiming that – because its users uploaded the content, and it operated a takedown system for copyright owners – it was protected from liability for copyright infringement by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, even though it routinely hosted large amounts of copyright infringing content.

In the end the firm was forced into closure because a court ruled that staff at the company also uploaded unlicensed music files, which deprived the firm of DMCA protection. Facing a bill for multi-million dollars of damages, the company finally gave up the fight last week.

Though whether or not a Grooveshark service that really did only take content from users could continue to exist with out copyright liabilities remains a moot point. Another legal case against the streaming platform on that specific point did seem to be swinging in labels’ favour too, though it remains an ambiguous area of law.

It seems likely that the cloned Grooveshark will claim DMCA protection just like it’s predecessor, though the act of cloning the original Grooveshark’s server could, in itself, mean the new site is not covered by the DMCA’s safe harbours. But the mysterious Shark told The Verge: “It’s going to be a roller coaster, and we’re ready for it”.