Grooveshark once told the world and promised it’s users they could “Play any song in the world, for free!,”was forced to cease operations today. They’d been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with major record labels bit last week a federal judge ruled that the company could face hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. It was determined that Grooveshark had never secured the proper licenses for its vast music collection, which it offered to the public free of charge.
In order to avoid having to pony up major amounts of dough, Escape Media, who was Grooveshark’s parent company, agreed to a settlement with those labels, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music.
The dissolution of the streaming service is one of the terms of that settlement, which, if violated, could cost Escape Media $75 million. Part of the settlement of the copyright infringement lawsuits between the service and Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, Grooveshark agreed to transfer the ownership of the Grooveshark website and all of its associated intellectual property to the labels, and that Grooveshark would be shut down effective immediately, forever.
On the Grooveshark website only a typed message in the center of the page is visible. The founders Sam Tarantino and Josh Greenberg thanked their supporters and said they admitted they were wrong. On its official website,
“We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music,” the note reads. “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.”
Back in April of 2013, CEO Sam Tarantino told Mashable that he “he was broke” and that he’d been “sued into oblivion”. When Grooveshark’s co-founder and CEO Sam Tarantino talks about what happened to his music startup between 2011 and early 2012, he doesn’t hold back: It was, he says, “a year of getting punched in the face 10,000 times.”
If that was 10,000 times then, that number is at least double now and they have “tapped out”. RIP Grooveshark.