Grooveshark now feels lawsuit wrath of all major music labels

EMI, which already has a licensing agreement with the music streaming service, alleges in a breach of contract lawsuit that it has yet to be paid any royalties.

A breach-of-contract lawsuit filed yesterday against Grooveshark means that all the major recording labels are suing the popular music streaming service.

EMI Music Publishing's lawsuit against Grooveshark parent Escape Media Group accuses the company of paying no royalties on a music licensing pact signed in 2009. The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, alleges that the company has "made not a single royalty payment to EMI, nor provided a single accounting statement," according to a New York Times report.

In a statement to the Times, Grooveshark said: "This is a contract dispute that we expect to resolve."

The free-music service has become a dartboard of late for the recording industry's lawsuits. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group filed a lawsuit last month accusing the company of copyright infringement. That followed a similar lawsuit from a Universal Music that accused Grooveshark employees of posting more than 100,000 pirated songs--an allegation Grooveshark called a " gross mischaracterization of information ."

Grooveshark entered into its licensing agreement with EMI in 2009 after settling a lawsuit filed by the recording label. But the status of that agreement may be in flux after Universal paid Citigroup $1.9 billion in November to acquire the recorded-music arm of EMI.

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About the author

Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.

 

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