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The Eagles Bite Grooveshark with Copyright

November 3, 2011

In some ways, Grooveshark is becoming the Napster of the new decade. It's wildy accessible and sharing music with millions of users cost-free. So how can an artist stop it, if they even want to?

Is Grooveshark becoming the mafia of free music distribution? According to the scenarios unfolding for classic rock outfits like The Eagles and King Crimson, yes.

In a series of e-mail battles publicized weeks ago by, King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and his team repeatedly request Grooveshark Senior Vice President Paul Geller to remove King Crimson material from the website. Geller proceeds to ‘find a solution that fits your (Fripp) needs,’ however Fripp quickly responds with the link to a newly uploaded Crimson song.

Long story short. Artists want their songs removed from Grooveshark, which they summarily are by staffers, only to see new versions of those songs reappear within hours under new addresses.

The question of the day is: are Grooveshark staff members uploading those songs as replacement, or are arbitrary users filling the void? Either way, Grooveshark controls the website and therefore can find crafty ways to prevent uploads of their ‘blacklist’ artists.

They just haven’t seem to find a way yet.

This week, Lisa Thomas Music Services, LLC, which handles all of The Eagles’ music, shared another anti-Grooveshark letter with, detailing similar issues. Thomas notes serving DMCA takedown notices to Grooveshark’s staff, requesting the removal of 367 unique links; a collective sum of only 31 Eagles songs.

While Grooveshark did remove the links within 24 hours (as requested), 30 of the 31 songs were once again available for play, many with multiple search results.

So now, the question of the year is: what is the relevance of serving countless DMCA takedown notices to a website that relentlessly surfaces replacement material? Is Grooveshark responsible for the replacement content? Can the website possibly prevent users from uploading particular content?

Is God real?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2011 11:34 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts on this topic.

    A sophomore comp-sci student can write a program that spits out automated DMCA take down notices to flood a site like Grooveshark, which they would manually have to handle. All of these sites (Grooveshark and YouTube included) have the technological capability of blocking infringing content. They simply don’t want to.

    But the real issue, as you point out in your last paragraph, is the compliance with the DMCA process (or the lack of it) and the Safe Harbor Provision. In my view, if a site or an ISP receives “x” number of legitimate takedown notices, it has the knowledge as defined in the DMCA of infringing activity that should, by law, remove its eligibility for Safe Harbor. It should therefore become legally liable for the infringing activity.

    This isn’t going to go away. Artists, publishers and labels are angry about unlicensed use of their material.

    “It’s nice to be played, but it’s nicer to be paid.” And to have control over your own property.

    Lisa Thomas


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