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RIP Grooveshark: Controversial Streaming Service Shuts Down

Written by Tom Williams on May 1, 2015

Controversial music streaming service Grooveshark is dead. The company has officially shut down its service, after reaching a settlement agreement with some of the major record labels who have been fighting to stop it over the past few years.

In a statement (below) posted to its website, Grooveshark has announced its closure and apologised for the way it did business.

“We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But 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,” the statement reads.

“That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.”

The company’s statement doesn’t share many details regarding the settlement agreement, but notes that Grooveshark will be wiped of its data and handed over to an unspecified new party. The statement also encourages music listeners to check out legitimate streaming services in the wake of Grooveshark’s demise.

Grooveshark faced a large legal issue in 2010, when Universal Music Group filed a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging that Grooveshark had illegal copies of its pre-1972 catalogue. Grooveshark won the case in 2012, but the decision was later reversed in 2013.

Since then, Grooveshark has been found guilty of mass copyright infringement, and was also found to have destroyed critical evidence. As Reuters reports, a US judge said in April that Grooveshark’s copyright violations were “willful” and made “in bad faith”.

Grooveshark had over 30 million users, who shared over 15 million files. The company was launched back in 2007.

Read Grooveshark’s full closure statement, below.

Grooveshark Closure Statement:

Dear music fans,

Today we are shutting down Grooveshark.

We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But 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.

That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.

As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all the data on our servers and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.

At that time of our launch, few music services provided the experience we wanted to offer ­and think you deserve. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. There are now hundreds of fan friendly, affordable services available for you to choose from, including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody and Rdio, among many others.

If you love music and respect the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders. You can find out more about the many great services available where you live here: http://whymusicmatters.com/find-music.

It has been a privilege getting to know so many of you and enjoying great music together. Thank you for being such passionate fans.

Yours in music,

Your friends at Grooveshark

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