Grooveshark Sued Again... Negotiating Via Lawsuit Continues

from the and-so-it-goes dept

We've discussed in the past how the record labels have this habit of "negotiating through lawsuits," in that they will often sue an innovative music startup, even as they're negotiating licensing deals with them, just to get the upperhand in the negotiation. It's happened with countless music startups -- and it's one of the main reasons so few survive. They're overly burdened with ridiculous costs from the beginning. We already saw that EMI used this strategy with Grooveshark, in forcing it into a licensing deal, and apparently Universal Music decided it could do the same thing. It's now suing Grooveshark as well -- even though Grooveshark insists it pays all the appropriate licenses. Of course, the end result of all this is that it gives Grooveshark more publicity, but may make it more difficult for the company to survive.

Filed Under: lawsuits, negotiation
Companies: emi, grooveshark, universal music


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  1. identicon
    Musician, 12 Jan 2010 @ 9:48am

    RE: Labels being theives

    I understand that many people out there distrust the major record labels, call them thieves etc etc.

    While it's true that the major labels - and some independent labels too - have a history of ripping off their signed artists (through all kinds of contractual tricks and games, as well as by not providing the full level of service that the artist was promised), that really doesnt have any impact on the legality of Grooveshark etc offering content to which they don't own the copyright for, and to which they do not compensate the copyright owners for exploitation of said works.

    As a musician, it's very hard right now to straddle the middle line. On the one hand, we spend loads of money and time in creating, recording, releasing and promoting our music, and we do want people to pay for their use of it. That's fair enough, isn't it? On the other hand, we also just want people to listen to our music, to love it, and to carry it with them on their mp3 players!

    An artist that is signed to a label gives over their copyrights to the label in the expectation that the label will use their marketing and distribution might to the artists advantage. And that is what Universal is doing now - it is simply exerting it's rights to their copyrighted works.

    By boycotting the labels, you are also boycotting the artist (who usually makes little from royalties as it is after the label takes its agreed upon share).

    Guys n girls - we all want to be able to listen to music we love, but how much thought do we put into the fact that our unpaid downloads are really hurting the artists ability to survive finacially? The public is forcing musicians to alter their business model, which is fine, but until such time that artists have figured out how to do so (which many are trying, some with success and some without) unpaid downloads are seriously damaging the music economy. You've got to somehow recoup that $15,000 it cost to put out your album...

    If I was signed to a label, I would expect the label to do everything in it's power to stop other BUSINESSES ripping me off - as grooveshark DO by not properly compensating the copyright holders (I know they SAY they do, but the truth of that is yet to be seen by me at least).

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

    - eliguth at gmail dot com

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