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Grooveshark settle with Merlin

By | Published on Monday 9 August 2010

Popular if slightly rogue-ish US digital music site Grooveshark has reached a licensing deal with Merlin, meaning it will be able to offer legit access to music from the many independent labels represented by the digital rights body.

As much previously reported, Grooveshark is a US-based streaming music service which originally built its catalogue by allowing users to upload content to its servers. Its operators claim their service is legal, and that they operate a takedown system as required by America’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act, though some content owners and rival digital music providers beg to differ.

That said, when EMI sued in June 2009 the major eventually reached a licensing deal with Team Grooveshark, and Merlin’s dispute with the digital firm over the use of its labels’ content has reached the same conclusion. Merlin members will get a payment for the past use of their music on Grooveshark, as well as an ongoing licence fee for future play.

Confirming a deal had been reached, Merlin top man Charles Caldas told CMU: “This is an important deal for Merlin’s members, underlining that Merlin exists both to protect its member labels’ content and to help create new legitimate revenue streams. Merlin was established not just to protect its members’ rights, but also to make life easier for services who want to deal fairly with the thousands of independent labels that make up our membership. We wish Grooveshark all the best going forward and hope that this will be an important reminder to other music services looking to launch soon”.

Grooveshark captain Sam Tarantino added: “We are thrilled to be working with Merlin and their extensive roster of artists. We look forward to working closely with Merlin’s affiliated labels to provide new promotional opportunities and expanded fan-bases for their artists”.

Grooveshark is particularly popular in those territories yet to get Spotify, especially the US, because, like Spot, it offers both an ad-funded free service as well as a premium option.