Grooveshark Shuts Down: We Made Serious Mistakes

The online music sharing service Grooveshark has official shut down following a long fight with record labels over licensing rights. The company made it easy for users to share music, but didn't ever get the rights to host the files on its servers. It's demise came along with an admission that "serious mistakes" were made.

Grooveshark shuts down over music licensing violationsGrooveshark shuts down over music licensing violations

Grooveshark's headaches started in 2011 when several record labels filed a lawsuit against the company for distributing music without first obtaining rights to the songs it was hosting. Those songs came from users of the service who uploaded content, then shared it with their friends.

The company never managed to swing a deal with the record labels, and ultimately agreed to an out of court settlement. That settlement included shutting down the service, deleting all of the unlicensed files from servers, handing over all intellectual property to the record labels, and a public apology that appeared on the Grooveshark website on Thursday.

The company said,

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.

Grooveshark did have a few licensing agreements in place, but not for all of the music it hosted. That didn't sit well with the record labels, and the court backed them up saying Grooveshark was blatantly infringing on their copyrights.

The record labels may go overboard at times in their pursuit of licensing violations, in this case it looks like their actions were warranted. Grooveshark was hosting and sharing music without licensing, and that ultimately led to its downfall.