7/26/13: Google has apparently added Grooveshark to its infringer search filter

Paul Maloney
July 26, 2013 - 12:50pm

Google has reportedly added streaming service Grooveshark to its "blacklist" of sites it filters from its "Instant" and "Autocomplete" search services.

Google regularly filters sites it deems copyright infringers from appearing to users via this functionality. (Simply typing "Grooveshark" into the search field still finds the site.)

[Note to self: Launch company called "ThePirateBax.com"]

For years Grooveshark has attracted the ire (and legal attention) of record labels and music rights advocates for its alleged unlicensed use of copyright musical compositions and recordings. Grooveshark has actually secured licensing agreements with several indie labels -- but not major label groups, all of which have sued the company.

Torrentfreak.com wrote (here), "To us it seems likely that the addition of Grooveshark is not based on algorithms or DMCA requests. Google is asked to remove a median of 12 Grooveshark URLs per week, compared to 1,792 for BTloft, which is not on Google’s piracy blacklist. Perhaps the music labels have been pushing for Grooveshark’s inclusion behind the scenes?"

Techspot.com seems to agree (here). "It seems to have been somewhat related to the successful appeal by the Universal Music Group against Grooveshark two months ago."

For years, Grooveshark operated like an "on-demand" music service, enabling users to hear any song in its library at any time, and create and share playlists of such music. In April, Grooveshark (see RAIN here) unveiled a new service called "Broadcast," which converts playlists into user-generated online radio (which has different licensing requirements). More recently, online music service Playlist.com (see RAIN here) ceased its on-demand-style streaming and switched to an online radio service model -- forced to do so by "the record labels," the company told listeners.

Paul Maloney
July 26, 2013 - 12:50pm

Industry consultants Jacobs Media and Valerie Shuman, along with news source Radio Ink, will present a seminar focusing on radio in cars, called DASH: The Connected Car AudioTainment Conference.

The conference, October 23-24 in Detroit, is "designed to bring the automotive, radio, and advertising industries together to explore partnerships, exchange information, and learn from one another in a collaborative setting," according to an announcement.

"Changing technology in the digital age is redefining the decades-long connection between these two storied industries," the conference organizers say. "At the center of this change is the 'connected car'..."

Read more about the conference here.

Paul Maloney
July 26, 2013 - 12:50pm

A recent story about New York City pirate radio suggests moving stations online "is a logical way" to allow the communities of listeners to continue the cultural connection radio provides.

The problem, at least for these stations and their listenership, is "there just aren’t enough listeners habituated to listening on the internet to draw advertisers. It’s worse than being relegated to a lower-quality, less prestigious AM frequency," writes The Verge. "Tuning in on phones and computers is a big change of habit from the familiar radio, and advertisers are harder to attract without the broadcast element."

The site does point to two stations that have made the transition: Waah Gwan Radio, once known as the "Hot 97 of underground radio," and Red Hot Radio, which apparently broadcasts at 102.3 (wreaking havoc for licensed rock station WBAB-FM), streams online and even offers mobile apps.

Read more in The Verge here.