Grooveshark has had a series of run-ins with mobile providers. Its iOS app was pulled from the App Store in August of last year, and its Android app was booted from the Android Marketplace earlier this month.The peer-to-peer music streaming service
The company has now fired back at the music industry and at Apple and Google, contending there's nothing illegal about its app.
Grooveshark works differently than many other streaming music services. Rather than solely relying on licensing deals with the record industry in order to offer music content (streaming or downloads), Grooveshark users upload their songs to the catalog, which can in turn be streamed by anyone with the app. That peer-to-peer element clearly runs afoul of the record industry's longstanding argument that this sort of sharing is stealing.
Grooveshark insists that it complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and that it processes takedowns as they're filed. Indeed, the company says it's taken down over 1.76 million files and suspended the upload privileges of over 22,000 users.
Grooveshark says it focuses on licensing with these individual users, but it is also working to secure rights with record labels. It touts licensing deals with over a thousand labels, as well as payment agreements to performing rights organizations. "These are not the characteristics of a company 'dedicated to copyright infringement," something that the RIAA and labels have accused.
Grooveshark makes it clear in its open letter that it wants to defend its name:
"In light of the recent misleading press concerning Grooveshark's application, it is important to make clear that we will defend our service, and the letter and the spirit of the law, in court and in Congress. We will defend our name and our ideals for the sake of our users who expect modern delivery systems and comprehensive access across devices, for the sake of artists and content owners who fear another decade of decline, and for other innovators who continue to bring new ideas to market through the expression of creativity in the form of technology."
For Android users who want to skirt the ban from the Android Marketplace, you can download the Grooveshark app directly from the company homepage. For iPhone users, well, you're out of luck.