Grooveshark wins small victory
Grooveshark won a small victory in one of the cases filed against it for copyright infringement.
In 2012, Universal Music sued Grooveshark for copyright infringement. Why? Often compared to Youtube, Grooveshark lets users upload songs that can then be listened to by anyone. It claims immunity under DMCA.
One of Universal’s arguments is that recordings made before 1972 are not protected by federal copyright and therefore ineligible for the DMCA safe harbors. (As a matter of fact, sound recordings were not given copyright protection until 1972 and were governed by state laws).
In a ruling on July 10, 2012, federal district court Judge Barbara R. Kapnick wrote, “There is no textual, or other reason, to think that Congress intended to limit that distribution of responsibilities to only post-1972 recordings.” This means that those pre-1972 recordings that can be found on Grooveshark ARE eligible for DMCA safe harbor protection. This decision is supported by an earlier case, EMI vs MP3Tunes where the judge also recognized that DMCA applied to pre-1972 recordings.
Grooveshark is not completely out of the woods, but it is another victory for the DMCA and for Grooveshark.