Legal Issues

Early Music Streaming Service Grooveshark Shuts Down to Settle Infringement

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Online music streaming service Grooveshark shut down its operations as part of its settlement agreement with major record companies, according to a message posted on the website, putting an end to a four-year legal battle.

Grooveshark will wipe clean all of the record companies' copyrighted works and hand over ownership of its website, mobile apps and intellectual property, including patents and copyrights, the company said.

"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," Grooveshark said.

Grooveshark and its parent Escape Media Group were not immediately reachable for comment.

A U.S. judge ruled last week that Gainesville, Florida-based Grooveshark's copyright violations on nearly 5,000 songs were "willful" and made "in bad faith."

Nine record companies including Arista Music, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, and Warner Bros Records, sued Escape Media Group for infringement in 2011.

In court papers, they called Grooveshark a "linear descendant" of Grokster, LimeWire and Napster, all of which had been shut down because of copyright infringement. 

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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