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Grooveshark co-founder dies

By | Published on Tuesday 21 July 2015


The co-founder of the controversial user-upload streaming service Grooveshark, which finally shut down in April after years of run-ins with the music industry, has died aged 28. According to local media, Josh Greenberg was found dead at his home in St Petersburg, Florida on Sunday evening by his girlfriend.

His mother, Lori Greenberg, told reporters that police had found no evidence of injuries or drugs, while her son was not known to be suffering from any illnesses, or to be taking any prescription medication. Mrs Greenberg added that a medical examiner’s autopsy found no explanation for a cause of death, and that the authorities are therefore “as baffled as I am” as to what could have happened. Results of toxicology tests, which can take up to three months to be ready, might offer some insight.

Greenberg and his business partner Sam Tarantino fought various legal battles with the music industry over Grooveshark, which, by allowing users to upload music, routinely streamed content without licence from labels or publishers.

The firm claimed it was protected by so called safe harbours in copyright law, while trying to negotiate licences on the back of its massive userbase. But the majors seemed to decide they just wanted the streaming service offline, and at the end of April they got their way, Greenberg and Tarantino giving up their battle and urging formers users to sign up to a licensed streaming set-ups like Spotify.

But Greenberg’s mother said that her son was more relieved than depressed when the Grooveshark settlement was finally done, it not demanding mega-bucks damages from the founders. She added: “He was excited about potential new things that he was going to start”.