The Grooveshark app was initially rejected by Apple and relegated to the unauthorized Cydia app directory for jailbroken devices. Grooveshark spent a year tweaking the app to make it legal and it appeared in the App Store on August 8. But today, it was gone.
The move is likely related to the lawsuit in which Universal Music – the largest record company in the world, according to Wikipedia – is suing Grooveshark for copyright infringement. Universal claims Grooveshark is illegally streaming songs from Universal’s pre-1972 catalog and Grooveshark’s “business plan is based on copyright infringement.”
“Earlier this afternoon, Apple sent us a letter notifying us that, due to a complaint they received from Universal Music Group UK, Grooveshark for iPhone has been, strangely, pulled from the App Store,” Grooveshark wrote on its blog.
“This comes as an absolute surprise to us, and we are not sleeping until we figure out exactly how to fix this–and get Grooveshark for iPhone back in the App Store.”
Apple recently approved a spate of cloud-based music apps, including MOG and Rdio. But Grooveshark is unique because it relies on users to upload music to its catalog, which can be streamed and downloaded from the app via either Amazon MP3 or the iTunes Store.
The company already settled one lawsuit with a major record company in October, agreeing to license EMI’s catalog.
The iPhone app offered a 30-day free trial and then a $3 a month subscription. Like other services, Grooveshark allowed users to download songs. It has apps for BlackBerry, Android and Nokia (Symbian) devices.