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Grooveshark suddenly shut down amidst legal issues

Grooveshark Logo

The streaming music service was suddenly shut down today amidst copyright disputes

Grooveshark’s legality as a music streaming service has always been dubious, but its illegality was confirmed today when the service was suddenly shut down, coming as a surprise to some users but ending ongoing disputes with some of the large record companies including Warner and Universal Music. If you now visit the Grooveshark site you’re greeted by a message from its owners stating they had made some “very serious mistakes” when it came to securing licenses from rights holders of the music hosted by the service. “That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation”.

Grooveshark was forced to cease operation with immediate effect and has agreed to “wipe clean all of the record companies’ copyrighted works and hand over ownership”. The fact that licensing wasn’t secured doesn’t come as a great surprise. Grooveshark allowed users to upload their own music, tagging albums and tracks and thereby allowing other users to search and listen.

Read our guide to the best music streaming services

While other more distinctly legal services exist, such as Spotify and Deezer, many of these aren’t available in every country, so Grooveshark was able to thrive and fill in a streaming music hole in many countries. In the termination statement from Grooveshark, the company even alludes to many of these alternatives, “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”. Notably absent is a reference to Tidal, which will no doubt upset Jay Z who recently stated his newly acquired streaming service was not struggling.

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