The writing has been on the wall for controversial music-sharing service Grooveshark for a long time, and now the service is gone for good. In a message posted to the official site, Grooveshark has expressed contrition over the way it conducted its business, says it's settled with major record companies, and recommends users go to other services like Spotify or Beats Music.
The company's full statement is below:
Dear music fans,
Today we are shutting down Grooveshark.
We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite 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 apologize. Without reservation.
As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all the data on our servers and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.
At that time of our launch, few music services provided the experience we wanted to offer and think you deserve. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. There are now hundreds of fan friendly, affordable services available for you to choose from, including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody and Rdio, among many others.
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. You can find out more about the many great services available where you live here: http://whymusicmatters.com/find-music.
It has been a privilege getting to know so many of you and enjoying great music together. Thank you for being such passionate fans.
Yours in music,
Your friends at Grooveshark
No details on the settlement itself are currently available. Last week a judge opened the door for a jury to impose the maximum fine of $150,000 for each song deemed to have infringed copyright; almost 5,000 were under consideration in the trial, meaning Grooveshark could have been liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.