A court in Denmark has ordered Danish internet service provider (ISP) 3 to block users access to the popular music streaming site Grooveshark. The case against 3 was brought by a group of Danish entertainment companies, collectively known as RettighedsAlliancen, claiming that they had no licensing agreements with Grooveshark and that the sites use of their artists’ content violated copyright laws. 3, who was targeted seemingly at random is not even Denmark’s largest internet provider, tried to argue that while there certainly is some content streaming from Grooveshark that is illegal, there is plenty of content that is legal, and denying users access to the legal content was more harmful than allowing users to access a smaller amount of illegal content.
Unfortunately, there’s already been a pretty clear precedent set in Denmark. All the way back in 2006, Danish courts ordered Denmark’s Tele2 to block user access to AllofMP3.com, and in 2009, courts ordered another ISP (TDC) to block user access to The Pirate Bay. Given that these decisions don’t actually remove the sites in question from the internet, savvy Danish users have quickly found ways around the blockages. Even still, if other countries start coming to the same conclusion as Denmark, it will be increasingly difficult for Grooveshark to stay in business. Regardless, one hopes that judicial systems across the globe will take a closer look at this matter and realize that ISPs should not be the ones punished for allowing illegal content through to users. The forced censorship of the internet for the benefit of corporations is a slippery slope, indeed.
• Grooveshark: http://grooveshark.com