Before streaming services were all the rage, Grooveshark was a controversial early example of the trend. Now, the company has called it quits and shut for good.
The company faced lawsuits over the years for offering unlicensed material. This included a $17 billion lawsuit from a coalition of major labels in 2011. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Grooveshark had wilfully violated the copyright on thousands of songs, and it was potentially facing hundreds of millions of dollars of damages. (Evidently that "tip jar" idea wasn't good enough.)
The owners of service announced its closure with a letter on groovshark.com. In the missive, they admitted that they were in the wrong and agreed to hand over full ownership of the service and its intellectual property. The confessed to sharing music without securing licenses and apologized "without reservation."
This letter directs fans to other, legal streaming services. Read it below.
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
April 30, 2015