Sources suspect major labels convinced Google to blacklist Grooveshark

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Issue Date: 
Jul 26 2013 - 12:50pm

From Issue:

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.

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