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Friday, April 12, 2024

 

Grooveshark's parent company, Escape Media Group, is being sued by Universal Music Group over a claim of copyright infringement.

A 93-page complaint filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said Grooveshark.com, a music-streaming website headquartered in Gainesville and started by UF alumni, used songs owned by Universal Music Group without its permission. The music in question includes songs by Elton John, Lady Gaga and Jay-Z.

The complaint also said that Escape Media Group executives and employees illegally downloaded about 100,000 songs to add to the company's library. The complaint stated Universal Music Group is asking $150,000 for each infringed piece of work.

Grooveshark responded to the allegations in an official statement.

"Universal's claims rest almost entirely on an anonymous, blatantly false Internet blog comment and Universal's gross mischaracterization of information that Grooveshark itself provided to Universal," the statement read.

The complaint, which is the first step in a lawsuit, includes emails from Sina Simantob, who is identified in them as the Escape Media Group executive chairman.

Universal Music Group stated the emails prove Grooveshark knew it was taking songs without permission.

The anonymous comment was posted to a blog, Digital Music News, and comes from a self-identified Grooveshark employee.

"We are assigned a predetermined ammount (sic) of weekly uploads to the system and get a small extra bonus if we manage to go above that," stated the comment from "Visitor."

The person refused to give his or her identity when pushed by other people who commented on the blog post.

According to Grooveshark's statement, the company feels it will prevail in the suit.

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Grooveshark continues to run its website. Grooveshark.com boasts 30 million monthly active users.

 

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