Not two months ago we reported that Universal had filed a complaint against Grooveshark for illegally uploading copyrighted material to their site for streaming purposes. Since then, both Sony and Warner Music Group have jumped on Universal’s bandwagon and joined the suit. Now, the only major label that Grooveshark actually had a licensing agreement with, EMI, is suing Grooveshark, claiming that they haven’t been paid any royalties since the licensing agreement was put in place back in 2009 (which was itself the resolution of an earlier lawsuit against Grooveshark by EMI).
Could this newfound interest in actually getting paid for the music that it licensed Grooveshark to stream be a result of EMI’s new owners, Universal and Sony? Unfortunately for them, the lawsuit is only asking for $150,000 in royalties, while past complaints by artists such as King Crimson, whose music is not legally licensed for streaming by Grooveshark, have demanded the maximum penalty of $150,000 per illegal instance.
Unlike the more precarious lawsuits Grooveshark now finds itself in, this one seems fairly easy to settle (pay your damn bills) without the threat of going under completely. But the further consolidation of the record labels into ever-bigger fish and Grooveshark’s continued abuse of rights holders means we should find the streaming service dead in the water sooner than later.