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DMN responds to Grooveshark subpoena and other claims

By | Published on Monday 23 January 2012


US digital news site Digital Music News has accused Grooveshark of trying to convince the wider music community that it is in cahoots with Universal Music over the major’s latest lawsuit against the rogue streaming music site.

As previously reported, Universal has cited in its lawsuit an anonymous post left on the DMN site in which the writer claimed to work for Grooveshark, and that they were routinely asked to upload unlicensed content to the Grooveshark servers by their employer.

Those claims back up Universal’s allegations that Grooveshark itself uploads unlicensed content to its website, to ensure all big artists are included, whereas, of course, the web firm contends that its users upload all such content, and that it routinely removes it, so to guarantee protection from copyright infringement claims under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Grooveshark last week subpoenaed Digital Music News in a bid to try to identify who left the key comment on the website. In an email seemingly sent to a music industry email list, Grooveshark’s EVP of External Affairs, Paul Geller, questioned why Universal was not likewise keen to identify the anonymous commenter, given the post arguably plays a key role in their litigation (the major might argue that upload data from Grooveshark itself is more important, though the web company claims that data has been deliberately misinterpreted).

In the email, Geller writes: “If UMG is going to make an anonymous comment a key piece of evidence, I’m surprised [UMG executives] don’t want to know who it is. You’ll notice the subpoena also demands details of the relationship UMG had with DMN, which we believe to be nefarious”.

DMN has not taken kindly to that latter allegation, writing in response: “Beyond the paranoid aspects, the decision to broadcast this [claim] to a well-read industry list may also be part of a calculated PR effort. In this case, Geller and Grooveshark may be unfairly looking to characterise Digital Music News as a pawn of Universal Music Group, rather than an independent journalistic voice. Which of course sounds preposterous to us, but we’d offer these recent [critical] articles on UMG [linked to in the response] as evidence to the contrary”.

DMN have also published their lengthy response to Grooveshark’s subpoena, which you can read here.

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