Grooveshark Faces Another EMI Copyright Infringement Suit

By Joseph Mandour on September 7, 2012

grooveshark Los Angeles — Grooveshark was slapped with yet another copyright infringement lawsuit last week at the hands of major record label conglomerate EMI Music, which is alleging that the online music streaming service failed to come up with required licensing payments and sales records.

EMI cut off its September 2009 licensing deal with Grooveshark in March of this year, but Grooveshark continued to stream EMI’s music anyway, according to the record label’s complaint against Grooveshark parent company Escape Media Group Inc., filed in New York federal court on Aug. 30.

While the licensing deal was still in effect, Grooveshark repeatedly breached its distribution agreement with EMI, missing monthly payments for licensing fees several times, the complaint says.

Escape Media “continues to this day to exploit (and to permit, encourage, enable and contribute to the unauthorized exploitation of) EMI recordings on or via its Grooveshark service,” EMI says.

In addition to being in “flagrant breach” of its agreements with EMI and committing willful copyright infringement, Grooveshark’s continued exploitation of EMI recordings has unjustly enriched its parent company, according to the complaint.

“Grooveshark remains dedicated to helping music fans search, discover and share music while pioneering new artist promotion, distribution and monetization techniques,” Grooveshark representative Danika Azzarelli said. “While we always strive to keep lines of communication open with rights holders, artists and all other interested parties, disagreements inevitably arise, as is true in any business, particularly one that is pushing for innovation and industry change.”

“We remain confident that we will be able to resolve our dispute with EMI/Capitol promptly and in a manner that satisfies all parties,” Azzarelli said.

The new lawsuit is not the first time EMI has sued Grooveshark. The label previously hit the streaming service with a copyright infringement complaint in 2009. Other major music companies including Universal Music Group are also currently pursuing their own actions against Grooveshark.

Attorneys for EMI declined to comment on the dispute.

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