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Grooveshark close to deal with EMI Music Publishing

By | Published on Wednesday 7 August 2013


Grooveshark is close to settling its legal dispute with EMI Music Publishing, according to The Verge, which says some sort of deal announcement is imminent.

Although best known as the streaming service the music industry loves to hate, Grooveshark did for a time have a licensing deal in place with both the recordings and publishing side of EMI, after settling a bit of litigation launched by the major in 2009.

However, as the other music majors subsequently lined-up to sue Grooveshark, which lets users upload music to its servers, meaning it routinely hosts unlicensed tracks, the partnership with EMI started to crumble.

EMI Music Publishing launched new litigation against Grooveshark in January 2012, claiming the digital firm was in breach of its 2009 agreement. And by the time the EMI business was split into two, with recordings going to Universal and publishing falling under the control of Sony/ATV, both sides of the company had stopped working with the Groovesharkers.

With Universal the most anti-Grooveshark of all the music companies, it seems unlikely the streaming company will ever secure a new deal with what were the EMI record companies, but talks on the publishing side have seemingly continued, and The Verge says a deal has now been agreed and will be confirmed shortly.

Which is an interesting turn of events. Though with the three major record companies currently pursuing two separate lawsuits against Grooveshark, while lobbying US Congress to tighten up the statutory obligations on user-upload websites to run effective takedown systems (reckoning that Grooveshark is exploiting the current loose obligations), the company still faces an uphill challenge for survival in the increasingly competitive streaming market.