FRIDAY 1 MAY 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The music industry will be dining on a generous helping of shark fin soup tonight after finally forcing the always contentious not-really-licensed streaming service Grooveshark off the internet. It's been a very long time coming, though in the end it was a technicality and a revelation that helped the record industry harpoon the pesky streaming music upstart that relied on... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Secretsundaze launches its 2015 season with a bank holiday all-dayer - a double header spread over two East London venues, kicking off at 1pm on Sunday. Daytime residents Smith and Priestley are at Oval Space in Hackney with Fred P, Joey Anderson and Jane Fitz from Night Moves. Meanwhile for the nighttime session the party shifts just around the corner to The Laundry... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: And so, it came to pass, that on the 30th of April in the year two thousand and fifteen (Eastern Daylight Time), the oft controversial music streaming service Grooveshark did shut down forever. Amen. Grooveshark's settlement with the major labels yesterday ensured that the company not only shut down, but also issued a grovelling apology and handed ownership of all of its... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Grooveshark 2007-2015
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LEGAL New anti-piracy laws go live in Russia
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Music Publishers Association boss exits
Merlin appoints Technical Operations Manager
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LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation announces National Concert Day
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES New boss at Vevo
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MEDIA BBC's standalone Eurovision radio station to return
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EDUCATION & EVENTS Creative entrepreneurs invited to digital health and care innovation conference
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ONE LINERS Bon Jovi's Azoff deal, Bristol's Independent Label Market, Justin Bieber's Zoolander cameo, and so much more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #252: The Music Industry v Grooveshark
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SJM CONCERTS - DEPUTY MARKETING MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
SJM Concerts seeks a Deputy Marketing Manager to support our marketing team to maximise exposure of events promoted by teh comapny, and to implement marketing campaigns to generate sales for new tours and events via various platforms including press, radio, TV, digital and print.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SUPAPASS - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE (LONDON OR NORWICH)
SupaPass is an exciting new digital music platform connecting superfans with their favourite bands. SupaPass gives labels and artists a smart way to monetise their digital content, unlocking new revenue streams and amplifying superfan loyalty by bringing everything essential from social to streaming in one place. We are seeking an ambitious and driven business development executive with a deep understanding and strong network across music, entertainment and music-tech.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - WAREHOUSE MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for a bright, energetic warehouse manager with plenty of enthusiasm to supervise our warehouse operation.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Experienced Management Assistant required for established London based artist management company. Candidates must have relevant experience in all areas of artist management and must demonstrate their knowledge and experience in assisting with a global release and live campaign. Role will include providing support to artist managers, co-ordinating day to day activities for artists including general administrative duties and personal assistant duties.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
   
DOMINO - UK DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Domino is seeking a UK Digital Manager to work alongside our Digital and Project Management departments. The ideal candidate will take full responsibility for defining and implementing digital marketing strategy and will evaluate and communicate ongoing campaign effectiveness. Extending the reach and engagement of our marketing campaigns with creative ideas is key.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE STATE51 CONSPIRACY - SUPPORT TEAM ASSISTANT (LONDON)
The state51 Conspiracy is looking for a bright, enthusiastic, collaborative and well-organised person to join its support team. Support Team Assistants provide critical support to our partners (labels, artists), customers, music services, suppliers and to the rest of the business, as needed.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MATERIAL - JUNIOR LABEL MANAGER & MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Material are looking for a passionate and enthusiastic new member to join a small but growing team based in central London to work across our in house record labels (Needwant, Boso & Future Disco). As well as working across the labels you will have some involvement in the management arm when required. This is a starter position for an organised candidate keen to build a serious career at Material and learn fast on the job.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE DIGITAL - SYNC MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Sync is the in-house synchronisation department for leading international digital distributor, Believe Digital. You will be responsible for representing the catalogues of Believe Digital's distributed labels, as well as in-house indie label Believe Recordings (James Vincent McMorrow, Breton, Sarh, Fyfe, Meadowlark, Age Of Luna, Gavin James and more) for synchronisation and licensing opportunities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BPI COPYRIGHT PROTECTION UNIT - MEMBER PORTAL SERVICES MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for a lively, dynamic and enthusiastic individual to manage our new Member Services Portal, identify and deploy resources required to deliver BPI's Anti-Piracy Strategy and coordinate with developer to resolve or escalate performance issues, and carry out other membership related tasks allocated by the Head of Internet Investigations.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PARTISAN RECORDS - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
We are expanding the European operations and are seeking an experienced Marketing Manager to join the team. The successful candidate will have previous proven experience, a strong understanding of sales, marketing, distribution, and a solid knowledge of the current industry landscape.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PARTISAN RECORDS - MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
We are looking for an experienced Marketing Co-ordinator to join the European arm of the label. The Marketing Co-ordinator is the glue that holds everything together and the successful candidate will be assisting with the day-to-day administration and co-ordination of all European promotional, retail, and marketing activities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
RDIO - LABEL RELATIONS CO-ORDINATOR, EMEA (LONDON)
The Label Relations Co-ordinator handles day-to-day account management for some major and independent record labels, as well as other content partners, and manages recurring marketing programmes for EMEA.

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NINJA TUNE - PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Ninja Tune is looking for an experienced high level product manager working across our main imprints Ninja Tune, Big Dada and Counter Records. The job involves managing record release campaigns from beginning to end of campaigns working closely with the A&R, production, marketing, digital and international teams.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
RESIDENT ADVISOR - TICKETING ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Resident Advisor is looking for an ambitious and driven person with an interest in music, events and youth culture to manage, retain and develop promoter ticketing relationships.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

Grooveshark 2007-2015
The music industry will be dining on a generous helping of shark fin soup tonight after finally forcing the always contentious not-really-licensed streaming service Grooveshark off the internet.

It's been a very long time coming, though in the end it was a technicality and a revelation that helped the record industry harpoon the pesky streaming music upstart that relied on its users' MP3 collections and the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act to go live without the labels onboard.

This has been a long-running beef (as you'll see below), with the then standalone EMI the first to go legal after Grooveshark went online in 2007 with a music library uploaded by its users. The firm had got licences from some independents, but most labels - including all the majors - were not on board, even though their content was on the platform.

But Grooveshark claimed that because its users uploaded the music, and it had a takedown system so that rights owners could have their songs or recordings removed, it was protected by the safe harbours of the DMCA, just like YouTube. The record industry wasn't impressed with that defence, but it wasn't clear who'd win if the case got to court.

EMI settled and did a licensing deal with the service. Though the label subsequently accused the digital company of breach of contract and sued again. Meanwhile Universal Music joined the litigation party (later backed by the other majors), initially using the also much reported pre-1972 technicality. The mega-major argued that the DMCA only covered sound recordings back to the early 1970s, and therefore there were no safe harbours if Grooveshark distributed recordings that pre-dated 1972, even if the tracks had been uploaded by users.

Grooveshark was forced to share some data as that lawsuit went through the motions, and in those files the major found the smoking gun that meant it could sue without fearing the safe harbour defence: staff at the streaming firm had been told to upload content to its platform, and the company's directors had done likewise. And the minute the company itself is uploading content without permission from labels and publishers, well, hurrah, that's straightforward copyright infringement.

The Groovesharkers denied that tracks were routinely pumped onto its servers from within its HQ, but last September an American court ruled in favour of the labels. And then last week the judge overseeing the case confirmed that a jury set to consider damages would be empowered to award the labels the maximum sum allowed under US law: $150,000 for each of the nearly 5000 tracks listed in Universal's litigation.

And given US juries are weirdly prone to opt for the higher end of possible damages in copyright infringement cases, that could have left Grooveshark with a bill for $736 million.

We knew the company would never be able to pay anything like that sum. The firm was already struggling in an increasingly competitive streaming music market, its many legal woes having made it all but impossible to raise new investment. So it was perhaps not too surprising when, over night, Grooveshark disappeared from the internet, its founders having reached a settlement with the record industry.

It's a big victory for the music rights sector in one of its longest and highest profile legal battles with an online operator, though while the shark fin soup may flow tonight, the music community won't get much more out of the last minute settlement deal.

Grooveshark's limited means of late may have helped the labels, in that it forced the firm to finally give up the fight, but it means there is no pile of cash for the record industry to grab to compensate for past infringement. Though for Universal in particular, it's long seemed that the end game here was to simply force Grooveshark out of business. So job done.

The main cost for founders Josh Greenberg and Sam Tarantino - often cocky about their business model and the record industry's response to it in the early days - was publishing a humiliating apology in place of their website.

"We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music", they write. "But despite [the] best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologise. Without reservation".

They were also forced to plug their licensed rivals and the Music Matters website, while all Grooveshark intellectual property, including patents, copyright and trademarks, will be transferred to the labels.

Meanwhile all the data on the firm's servers has been wiped. Which is possibly a missed trick. The one clever thing about Grooveshark was that it got the fans to do the tedious task of digitising the record industry's content, and therefore its library included plenty of repertoire that the record industry is yet to get online.

Concluding their humiliation, given how many times they waffled on over the years about how there's was an artist-friendly platform, the Grooveshark founders concluded: "If you love music and respect the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders".

Re/Code says that if the firm's founders break the terms of their settlement they would be liable to pay $75 million in damages, which is likely to focus their attention on not doing so. Which means this is, presumably, well and truly the end of an era. Though, that said, the battle has only just begun to close the copyright law loophole that allowed Grooveshark to survive for this long.

Read the full parting letter from the Groovesharkers here.

New anti-piracy laws go live in Russia
While diplomatic tensions between Russia and the West of late may have made it harder for the copyright industry's lobbyists in the US and Europe to put pressure on the Russian government over intellectual property matters, new laws go live in the country today that should boost the music industry's ability to tackle online piracy.

Under the new rules - which basically extend to audio a system put in place for online videos in 2013 - it is easier for rights owners to issue notices to have their content removed from sites that are not licensed, and if those notices are unheeded a system is in place for music companies to have the site blocked in Russia or, if locally based, fully shut down. Basically if a website is found liable for copyright infringement in court twice, an automatic process will kick in to take the site offline.

The new rules were approved late last year, so sites who could find themselves liable - perhaps most notably the much-criticised-by-the-labels vKontakte - have been busy putting measures in place to ensure they don't fall foul of the new regulations. Though whether that will help nurture a market for licensed streaming services in the country remains to be seen.

But the development has been welcomed by the local industry, with Billboard quoting the General Director of Russian label Navigator Records, Alexei Kozin, who told Russian newspaper Gazeta.ru: "We are very glad that the anti-piracy law has been finally extended to cover music. The music industry can now expect a serious boost as we have a major instrument for protecting our copyright".

Music Publishers Association boss exits
The CEO of the Music Publishers Association, Sarah Osborn, departed the trade group somewhat suddenly yesterday, having joined the organisation as General Manager in 2012 and rising to the top job in 2013.

Confirming the development, MPA Chairman Chris Butler told reporters: "The MPA board and membership wish to thank Sarah for all her hard work during a time of transition which has seen the formation of PMLL, the separation of our subsidiary company MCPS from PRS and the evolution of IMPEL. We wish her well in the future".

Meanwhile Osborn herself added: "As the MPA emerges from a period of significant change it's now time for me to take on a new challenge. I want to thank the MPA for giving me the opportunity to lead the association and shape its future".

--------------------------------------------------

Merlin appoints Technical Operations Manager
Indie label digital rights group Merlin has hired Christopher Tarbet, formerly of Rightster, to take up the newly-created role of Technical Operations Manager.

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas says: "I am delighted to welcome Chris to the Merlin team. He will benefit our worldwide membership by providing hands-on practical assistance - saving them time and ensuring they get the very best from all Merlin agreements in which they participate. Going forward, his expertise and knowledge of managing the YouTube CMS will be particularly invaluable".

Talbert adds: "I am hugely excited to be joining Merlin, and look forward to working closely with members to help navigate the practicalities of their deals and maximise the full benefits".

Live Nation announces National Concert Day
Live Nation has announced that 5 May will be the United States Of America's first ever National Concert Day. First ever, I assume, because what the fuck does that even mean?

Well, actually, I'm just feigning ignorance, because I have all the info right in front of me. Apparently it is "a day to recognise not only fans but also music artists, live music industry leaders, tour managers and their teams as well as all the hard working employees at venues across the country that work tirelessly to produce the incredible music experiences that will be seen this summer".

No, I'll have to say it again, what the fuck does that even mean? Is there a day for everything now? Yes, apparently so. And now that there's a day for this, there should probably be some sort of event too. Luckily Live Nation has thought of that as well. There's going to be a big party at the Irving Plaza in New York, which will look ahead to some of the big tours this summer. All of which are promoted by Live Nation.

God, I hate how commercialised National Concert Day has become.

New boss at Vevo
Vevo has a new CEO everybody! Let's all go sit through an annoyingly unskippable ad to celebrate. And interestingly the Universal/Sony-led music video site has gone with someone from the digital media sector rather than the music business for its new chief.

Erik Huggers has previously worked in both the tech and media space, most recently with long-in-development online pay-TV service OnCue, originally an Intel venture acquired by Verizon last year. Though he's better known over here for his stint running digital nonsense at the BBC in a period that saw the rise of the iPlayer.

Getting enormously excited about Huggers' skillset, and confirming his hire, Universal Music and Sony Music issued a joint statement yesterday saying: "We are enormously excited about the future of Vevo under Erik's leadership. We are committed to continued support and investment in the long term success of the company. Vevo has developed into the world's music video leader that reaches music fans on all devices. With a proven track record of innovation, Erik has the perfect skillset to grow the Vevo business".

Meanwhile a truly grateful Huggers himself added: "I am truly grateful to Vevo's owners for this incredible opportunity. The Vevo team has built the leading video service that has been embraced by passionate music fans around the world. I believe there is great potential in accelerating innovation to delight audiences with new product features and premium content. This is an exciting new chapter for myself and Vevo".

BBC's standalone Eurovision radio station to return
BBC Radio 2 has announced the return of its pop-up Eurovision station to coincide with this year's competition.

Launched last year, the digital-only station will be in operation from 21-24 May, featuring shows presented by Ana Matronic, Paddy O'Connell, Scott Mills, Sara Cox, Ken Bruce, Steve Wright, Tony Blackburn, Sonia, Rufus Hound, Vanessa Feltz and King Of Eurovision Terry Wogan.

For more info on the station, go here.

Creative entrepreneurs invited to digital health and care innovation conference
Entrepreneurs from the music and creative industries are being invited to join an event later this month exploring how digital platforms and technologies can contribute to long term healthcare.

It's part of an Innovate UK-led initiative called the Long Term Care Revolution which is encouraging individuals and companies to come up with innovative digital solutions to enable older adults to stay in their own homes, rather than an institutional setting, including apps and tools that are focused on mental wellbeing.

This may include digital platforms that could facilitate music and creative therapies, and Innovate UK hope that the event will bring together tech, business, creative and healthcare minds who might be able to collaborate on new ideas and bring them to life.

The conference will also put the focus on funding opportunities in this domain, including a £4 million Innovate UK grant fund, and people with existing ides can submit their proposal online with the chance to win a year's mentoring from NatWest.

The Long Term Care Revolution takes place in London on 12 and 13 May. There is no charge for admission - it's by invitation only - you can find more information and register to attend online here.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Secretsundaze 2015 Opening Party
Secretsundaze launches its 2015 season with a bank holiday all-dayer - a double header spread over two East London venues, kicking off at 1pm on Sunday.

Daytime residents Smith and Priestley are at Oval Space in Hackney with Fred P, Joey Anderson and Jane Fitz from Night Moves. Meanwhile for the nighttime session the party shifts just around the corner to The Laundry in E8. I'd recommend seeing the rather excellent Sterac, aka Steve Rachmad, a hugely talented Dutch techno wizard. Check his Boiler Room set and also the sublime 'Satyricon' from his seminal 1995 LP, 'The Secret Life of Machines'.

Sterac will be joined by Bristolians Pev B2B Kowton and Linkwood until 6am, ably assisted by the founders of the night and label Messrs Smith and Priestley.

Sunday 3 May, Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, Bethnal Green, London E2 9DT, 1-10pm and The Laundry, 2-18 Warburton Rd, E8 3FN, 10pm-6am, £19.50-£44.50. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 
 

Bon Jovi's Azoff deal, Bristol's Independent Label Market, Justin Bieber's Zoolander cameo, and so much more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

Billboard sources say that Irving Azoff has signed a management deal with Jon Bon Jovi and also the band Bon Jovi.

• Joss Stone has signed a deal with Essential Music & Marketing to release her seventh album, 'Water For Your Soul', on 17 Jul.

• People of Bristol, what are you doing this Sunday? That's right, you are going to the Independent Label Market at St Nicholas Market. I'm glad I didn't have to remind you. If you could pick me up the single vinyl copy of Amon Tobin's 'Dark Jovian' EP, that would be great. Thanks.

• Justin Bieber is apparently going to have a cameo in this new 'Zoolander' movie. I'd imagine he got the part on account of him being such a great person now.

• McBusted will release a live film recorded at the O2 Arena on 22 Jun. It's called 'McBusted's Most Excellent Adventure Tour - Live At The O2', if you were wondering.

• Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls has launched a new solo product called Huni. Listen to debut single, 'Is There Any Other One?', here.

• Daughn Gibson has shared a new track called 'It Wants Everything'. It's taken from his new album 'Carnation', which is released through Sub Pop on 8 Jun. Have a listen here.

• Metal band Zombie Crash have released the video for their new single, 'Hardcore On Tour'. Warning: Features fictionalised boyband murder.

• Song, By Toad has announced a new series of gigs celebrating the underground music scene in Edinburgh at The Paradise Palms, under the banner The Paradise Palms Song By Toad Dingus Rock Slop Fest. What a name. The first show will be on 6 May, featuring Halfrican, Dune Witch Trails and Wendell Borton. More info here.

CMU Beef Of The Week #252: The Music Industry v Grooveshark
And so, it came to pass, that on the 30th of April in the year two thousand and fifteen (Eastern Daylight Time), the oft controversial music streaming service Grooveshark did shut down forever. Amen.

Grooveshark's settlement with the major labels yesterday ensured that the company not only shut down, but also issued a grovelling apology and handed ownership of all of its intellectual property to those music companies.

No money seemingly changed hands though, which was a bullet dodged - though the company's founders are reportedly on the hook for $75 million if they break any terms of the settlement. But they could have been liable for damages nearly ten times that sum if they'd refused to settle at all.

So the Groovesharkers, while no doubt a bit sad, are probably breathing a sigh of relief. And the three major labels and their lawyers are probably dancing around the room, happy in the knowledge that they successfully sued Grooveshark to the bottom of the ocean.

But how did we even get here? It has been a long and winding road. Or maybe I should say a long and winding swim. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep the shark/water puns yet.

It all began way back in 2009, when EMI was still not only a thing, but a thing that had decided it didn't much like this other thing called Grooveshark. The company was one of a number of fledgling streaming services attempting to gain ground, but was different from the others in that it relied on its users to upload content to its servers, rather than the labels and their distributors.

A lawsuit came after licensing negotiations between the then major label and Grooveshark broke down. It was at this stage Grooveshark possibly made its first big mis-step. Back then, being just a little start-up with big ideas.

So the story goes, at that stage Grooveshark didn't have much legal representation, and was unsure how you were supposed to go about reacting to being sued by a multi-national company. In the end, someone at Grooveshark found an attorney through a family friend, and duly sent him in to negotiate with EMI's lawyers.

Legend has it that the major's legal team did not react kindly to a small town divorce lawyer being sent in to this meeting, viewing it as some sort of bold and offensive statement rather than a bit of fairly idiotic naivety. We're not entirely sure if this story is true, but certainly the Groovesharkers seemed adept at winding up the labels at every opportunity from the off.

Still, a month later an agreement had been reached, Grooveshark had its first licensing deal with one of the majors, and it was on its way to becoming The YouTube Of Audio - something Grooveshark very much wanted to be and a term that would become more important as time went on.

But as 2010 began rolling, Universal Music decided to sue Grooveshark too, for failing to have a proper licence in place for music it owned that was being made available on the streaming service. This litigation specifically criticised the lack of a content-blocking system, stopping tracks from being re-uploaded to Grooveshark's servers after takedown notices had been issued against them a first time. Something The YouTube Of YouTube (aka YouTube) did have in place.

This lawsuit focussed, as many subsequent lawsuits have, on technicalities relating to catalogue released prior to 1972. In the US, such recordings are covered by state, rather than federal law, which firstly meant Universal could have the case considered in a New York court, rather than having to head to Florida to deal with Grooveshark on home turf. But, more importantly, it also meant - the majors hoped - that its new enemy couldn't rely on the YouTube defence: Safe harbours.

Grooveshark wheeled this one out all the time. It said that under America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, because its users uploaded the content, and it operated a takedown system allowing rights owners to request said content be removed, it was protected from any liability for copyright infringement. This was what protected YouTube (even pre-Content ID), and Grooveshark, remember, was The YouTube Of Audio, so clearly must be protected too. Right?

The counter to this from the record companies and music publishers was that Grooveshark operated a deliberately shoddy takedown system (unlike YouTube's far more robust one), so that takedown notices could never keep up with new content being uploaded. But - although recent developments might change things - in the main the US courts have accepted pretty shoddy takedown systems as being DMCA compliant.

Either way, the pre-1972 lawsuit initially faltered, with Grooveshark winning at first instance before that ruling was overturned on appeal. However, by this point Universal had something more powerful in its arsenal. In 2011, it launched a second lawsuit, claiming to have evidence that employees of Grooveshark and its parent company Escape Media had uploaded copyright infringing content as well as the firm's users (over 100,000 unlicensed tracks, it was claimed - though this was later reduced to nearer 5000).

This was key, because although DMCA safe harbours and takedown rules are something of a grey area, the law is quite clear that those protections only extend to instances where third party users of a website upload illegal content, not if the company itself is doing it.

Initially, it seemed that Universal's claim was based mainly on a comment made on an article on the Digital Music News website by someone claiming to be an employee of Grooveshark. That anonymous person said that they were routinely told by their bosses to upload content even though they weren't licensed to do so. Grooveshark refuted this, demanding - though ultimately unsuccessfully - that DMN reveal the identity of the commenter.

However, Universal also said it had found evidence of illegal activity in data Grooveshark had been forced to hand over as part of the previous lawsuit. Among this were emails between execs at the streaming service, showing how cocky they felt about their legal wrangles. In one, an investor noted that "we bet the company on the fact that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission".

Next, Warner and Sony joined Universal's new lawsuit, and EMI withdrew its aforementioned licence agreement, suing not once but twice and then ultimately being included in the case brought by the other majors when Universal's acquisition of its recordings division was approved in September 2012.

But Grooveshark remained bullish, sticking to its position that it was just an audio version of YouTube, though cracks did begin to show - CEO Sam Tarantino admitting in 2013 that the company had been forced to downsize and that he was now paying himself 'only' $60,000 a year.

Still, the company continued to operate. Despite the ongoing disputes with the major labels, the company had managed to secure licensing deals with some indies and publishers, including the biggest of the majors on the publishing side EMI and Sony/ATV. It also rolled out new products in an attempt to placate the labels or at least operate more within the rules. Though, as any former LimeWire employee will tell you, there comes a point where it doesn't matter how good your legit product is, the majors are still going to try to put you out of business.

There was also a sideshow to all this, in which Grooveshark saw its apps removed from iOS, Android, and Chromecast app stores, its Facebook page deleted, and eventually the term 'grooveshark' blacklisted from Google search.

But still the plucky Florida firm fought on, still seeming confident that it would eventually make it out alive. Only last month it launched a brand new version of its website, claiming to have improved discovery tools and addressed "the industry's desire for more flexibility in controlling content". The update pushed its Broadcast streaming radio service, licensed through SoundExchange and thus not requiring direct label support, more than the controversial on-demand streaming element.

But the end was already in sight by this point. In September last year, Grooveshark had been dealt a blow in Universal's second lawsuit, the court siding with the record industry. And in another subsequent legal action the digital firm's entire 'but we have a takedown system, DMCA, blah blah' defence was weakened.

Grooveshark said it planned to appeal the ruling in the Universal case, but the next hit came last week, when a judge ruled that a jury would decide the damages that Universal should be awarded, and that the maximum of $150,000 per infringement could be considered - meaning Grooveshark was potentially facing being order to pay $736 million to the major label.

Obviously, Grooveshark would never have been able to pay that amount, but such a bill would certainly put it out of business. Seemingly recognising that this wasn't looking good, the service finally accepted a settlement deal, cut its losses, and got out. And now that the three major labels essentially own the company, I look forward to them spitefully relaunching it in the future. Because look how well Napster and Kazaa did once they went legit.

And there's your potted history of Grooveshark's six years of legal battles. If you want to relive the whole thing in stunning high definition, check out this timeline featuring all of our reports from that period.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

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