Grooveshark, the streaming music service that offered songs for free, is calling it quits after a legal defeat against major record labels.
Founders Josh Greenberg and Sam Tarantino announced on their website that they are shutting down as part of a settlement agreement.
“Despite the best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service,” they wrote. “That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.”
The music service once argued that they were within the safe harbor of offering streaming music, but a federal judge last month found otherwise, and the company that owned Grooveshark, Escape Media Group, potentially faced hundreds of millions of dollars in statutory copyright damages.
Instead, Escape Media will have to pay $75 million to labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group if they violate the terms of the settlement. They also agreed to surrender the Grooveshark mobile apps and other intellectual property.
The Recording Industry Assn. of America said in a statement that “for too long, Grooveshark built its business without properly compensating the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible. This settlement ends a major source of infringing activity.”
In their note, Greenberg and Tarantino also directed visitors to legal streaming services.