Grooveshark, the oft-sued streaming music service, appears to be putting some of its legal troubles behind it. The company is expected to announce, perhaps as early as this week, that it has signed a licensing agreement with EMI Music Publishing after first settling their legal differences. In September, EMI accused Grooveshark of breach of contract and copyright violations.
This is the latest development in Grooveshark's ongoing legal saga with the top record companies. Seemingly every year, we see Grooveshark license music, then stop paying, and then get sued again. The company enables users to post songs that other listeners can access. Often the songs are pirated and the music companies have to ask Grooveshark managers to take them down. The labels resent that.
Grooveshark is nothing if not scrappy. Word around the industry is that the service should have buckled by now. The company still has at least two other label lawsuits hanging over its head, and leadership have struggled to find a way to compete with the likes of Spotify and Pandora. Both of those companies offer fully licensed music and continue to report big gains in the number of users.
Lawsuits and competition have taken a toll Sources say, however, that the pressure from the lawsuits and competition has taken a toll on Grooveshark, adding that the company has dramatically reduced staffing. Maybe the company can battle back, but it's hard to see how, especially since heavyweights such as Apple and Google have recently entered the streaming category and that is likely to ratchet up the pressure.