Lawsuits Against Grooveshark Continue; Music Publishers Seek To Redefine The DMCA

from the that's-not-how-it-works dept

Grooveshark has been involved in a series of lawsuits from the recording industry and, as with the Limewire lawsuits, it looks like the music publishers are piggybacking on the labels by suing later. We've already explained why Grooveshark appears to follow the rules set out by the DMCA, but I would imagine that Grooveshark is the sort of site where judges simply won't like the idea of it, and will thus figure out a way to rule against it. That could be very problematic.

To make their case, the publishers are trying to claim that Grooveshark is not a service provider for the purpose of the DMCA. It's going to be difficult to have that claim stick, as courts have generally (correctly, in our opinion) deemed a wide spectrum of offerings to meet the "service provider" hurdle. And then the lawsuit gets even sillier. It claims that Grooveshark itself is doing everything that its users are actually doing. It's as if the publishers wish to simply pretend that the DMCA doesn't exist and that liability automatically applies to the service provider.

I think it's difficult for anyone to argue that Grooveshark is any different technically from YouTube, but when it comes to these sorts of things the industry isn't known for actually understanding what these offerings are really about, preferring instead to leap straight to the freak-out-that-must-be-illegal stage...

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  1. identicon
    A Guy, 28 Jul 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re:

    The court probably will spank them if they don't terminate repeatedly infringing users accounts.

    However, the law does not require them to limit the time a song plays. It's classic dual use. They put together a service to promote bands and offered to compensate them for playing their songs over the grooveshark service. If indie bands want to utilize such a service, it should be legal.

    As I understand it (repeat IANAL) filtering could push the ruling in their favor, but it is part of a test that could go either way, not a requirement of the legislature.

    If they took the proactive step of terminating accounts, they will probably be fine (IANAL). If they did not, they will get shut down and a similar service that does follow the letter of the law will shortly pop up.


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