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Grooveshark settles with EMI Music Publishing, signs new licensing deal

By | Published on Friday 9 August 2013


As expected, often controversial streaming service Grooveshark yesterday announced that it had settled its legal battle with EMI Music Publishing and signed a licensing agreement with the company. Exact details of the deal are confidential.

As previously reported, Grooveshark once had a licensing deal in place with both the recordings and publishing sides of EMI – back when both were still part of the same company – following the settlement of an earlier piece of litigation in 2009. However, this deal later fell apart, and EMI Music Publishing sued again in January 2012.

Announcing the new deal yesterday, Grooveshark co-founder and CEO Sam Tarantino said, somewhat optimistically: “We’re excited with this development. Grooveshark is taking the same steps YouTube did in its early evolution from a startup to becoming a core part of a content creator’s social distribution and marketing mix”.

Of course, YouTube’s early innovation happened while everyone was still trying to work out exactly how music should work on the internet. And its major label deals were in place relatively quickly. And YouTube didn’t then get re-sued by one of its existing major label partners, necessitating a second deal (though there was that temporary wobble in its Warner relations that time, I suppose). But whatever.

And, of course, Grooveshark is still embroiled in litigation with the three major record companies. Meaning that however big the EMI songs catalogue may be (and it is big), Grooveshark still isn’t technically cleared to play recordings from much of it.