EMI has terminated its contract with Grooveshark, leaving the music streaming service with an uncertain future without support from any major label and pending lawsuits from all four of them, including EMI. The news of the termination comes by way of CNET, and in a statement Grooveshark confirmed the separation:
Grooveshark was recently forced to make the difficult decision to part ways with EMI due to EMI’s currently unsustainable streaming rates and EMI’s pending merger with Universal Music Group, which we consider monopolistic and in violation of antitrust laws. To date, Grooveshark has paid over $2.6 million to EMI, but we have yet to find sustainable streaming rates.
EMI, naturally, takes a different view about the money it has been paid to date, alleging in a court case that Grooveshark missed a $100,000 payment and therefore sued to recover the money. With the end of the contract, the streaming music service will need to remove EMI's original recordings from its databases, but since Grooveshark also utilizes user-contributed music, some of EMI's music will likely remain available on the service — it can only be taken down one-by-one via DMCA notices.
In all, it's dark days for Grooveshark, which not only has to face increasing competition from Rdio, Spotify, Mog, and others — but now clearly faces hostile music labels who are more likely to litigate than negotiate with the company.