Universal Music Group Wins Appeal Against Grooveshark

From Billboard:

In a closely watched digital copyright lawsuit, a panel of five judges in the New York State Supreme Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed a lower state court decision favoring Escape Media Group Inc., the operators of the music streaming site Grooveshark.

The lawsuit, filed by Universal Music Group, alleged that Grooveshark had violated copyrights laws by hosting unlicensed music from Universal’s catalog that was recorded prior to 1972.

The date is significant because recordings from 1972 and onward explicitly fell under the DMCA, which granted online service providers such as Grooveshark a “safe harbor” against copyright litigation, provided that they meet certain obligations, including a process for taking down infringing content uploaded by users. Universal argued that, when it came to copyrighted songs recorded before 1972, Grooveshark enjoyed no such safe harbor and was liable. The latest court ruling agreed with Universal.

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