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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grooveshark to Google: We're Legal, Let Us Back in the Android Market

Grooveshark logo

Google recently removed the Grooveshark app from the Android Market, claiming the app was in violation of Google's policies. But Grooveshark isn't going down without a fight. The company has fired back in an open letter, saying there's nothing wrong with its music-streaming app.

"Google hasn't specified what it was in their 'Terms of Service' that we allegedly violated, but there does appear to be some confusion about whether Grooveshark is a legal service," reads the letter, which was published on "So let's set the record straight: there is nothing illegal about what Grooveshark offers to consumers."

There is a difference between legal and licensed, the company argued.

"Laws come from Congress. Licenses come from businesses. Grooveshark is completely legal because we comply with the laws passed by Congress, but we are not licensed by every label (yet)," the site said.

Grooveshark is an app that allows users to post songs and share them with others. It has more than six million tracks in its catalog. Google has not disclosed the reason it gave Grooveshark the boot, but it could be due to pressure from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Apple yanked the Grooveshark app from the App Store in August after Apple received a complaint from Universal Music Group UK.

Grooveshark also dealt with complaints back in 2009 when EMI accused it of copyright violations. The matter was settled, however, after EMI agreed to let Grooveshark license its content.

As for the most recent matter, Grooveshark said its app is legally protected, asserting that the company operated under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Besides legal protection, Grooveshark also notes that it has licenses from "over a thousand labels" and pays for rights, too.

"We pay for our streams, and we actively negotiate with virtually every single content owner. We've taken down over 1.76 million files and suspended upload privileges to 22,274 users. These are not the characteristics of a company 'dedicated to copy right infringement,'" Grooveshark said.

Grooveshark is requesting that both Apple and Google make the app available again.


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