The popular music sharing program Grooveshark was unceremoniously pulled earlier this month from the Android market following what many believe was pressure from the recording industry and Google following a precedent set by Apple last year when they too removed the app.
A Grooveshark bigwig stated yesterday they wouldn’t face the music for crimes they’re innocent of and would fight to see the app reinstated.
In an open letter to the music industry at large posted to Digital Music News, Grooveshark’s EVP of Strategic Development Paul Geller staunchly defended his company’s activities, saying flat out, “there is nothing illegal about what Grooveshark offers to consumers.”
Geller boasts that Grooveshark has willingly combated misuse (“We’ve taken down over 1.76 million files and suspended upload privileges to 22,274 users”) and protected copyrights, but the company’s legal history illustrates that noble intentions don’t mean much to content providers.
In 2009, Grooveshark was sued for copyright violations by EMI. The legal kerfuffle never landed the pair in court, however: a settlement was reached and they became partners. Another suit was filed by Universal Music Group last year. That case in ongoing.
Geller paints the recent events as the result of an overbearing recording industry coupled with misinformation.
“Grooveshark learned the hard way what happens to companies that fail to respond to misleading press created by their detractors and competitors,” Geller said, taking some blame for his employer’s situation. However, the target of his ire remains the “misleading press.”
While not named in the letter, a solid guess at someone Geller believes is misleading people is award-winning music producer and engineer Moses Avalon, who predicted the company would continue to encounter legal trouble “until it’s probably sold or shut down.”
Avalon, a 30-year recording industry veteran, takes an understandably harsh view on piracy — going so far as to compile a list of websites and organizations he believes would be re-branded or shuttered altogether following strict new P2P file-sharing laws. And yes, the now-banned app is on it.
The score is Avalon 1, Grooveshark 0…so far. Geller, however, is unbowed.
“We will defend our service, and the letter and the spirit of the law, in court and in Congress,” he wrote. “We will defend our name and our ideals for the sake of our users who expect modern delivery systems and comprehensive access across devices, for the sake of artists and content owners who fear another decade of decline, and for other innovators who continue to bring new ideas to market through the expression of creativity in the form of technology.” (via TorrentFreak)