Grooveshark Co-Founder Found Dead at 28

Grooveshark Co-Founder Josh Greenberg Dead at
Courtesy of Facebook

Josh Greenberg, co-founder and CTO of legally embattled music-streaming site Grooveshark, was found dead Sunday evening in his Gainesville, Fla., home, according to police. He was 28.

Greenberg did not have any health problems and police said there was no evidence of foul play or drugs, his mother, Lori Greenberg, told the Gainesville Sun. In a tweet Monday, the Gainesville Police Dept. said there was “no evidence of foul play or suicide” in his death.

Josh Greenberg formed Grooveshark in 2006 with Sam Tarantino when they were both 19-year-old students at U. of Florida. It shut down operations this April after the company lost a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed by major record labels and reached a settlement with the industry.

“Despite the best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes,” they said in a statement at the time. “We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.”

Grooveshark’s parent company, Escape Media Group, agreed to pay $75 million to labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group if Grooveshark violated the terms of the settlement.

According to Lori Greenberg, Josh was relieved rather than depressed about the settlement, per the Gainesville Sun. “He was excited about potential new things that he was going to start,” she said.

Grooveshark’s service let users upload songs and made them available to other users to stream. The startup had deals with some record companies for rights to their music but was sued by the three major labels, which said Grooveshark’s founders had personally uploaded to the site almost 6,000 songs they didn’t have the rights to and urged employees to do so as well. In September 2014, a U.S. federal district court ruled against Grooveshark, which claimed to have more than 40 million users at the peak of its popularity.

At the time of his death, Greenberg was listed as a co-founder and board member of TapShield, a Florida startup whose system lets users alert emergency responders about crimes or suspicious activity from their mobile phones. He studied business administration at U. of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration, according to his LinkedIn profile page.

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  1. Kyrt says:

    Rest in Peace Josh, you were a hero to us all.

  2. The thing that jumped out at me was how young he was when he started Grooveshark. Sadly, I believe many young people don’t understand the consequences of piracy. The pro-piracy messaging did a masterful job of obfuscating the reality of their actions.

    They cloaked it in us against the establishment, without a second thought about the impact on individuals.

    Or they talked about the value of unrestricted visibility and turning that into revenue from touring and merchandise.

    But most devastating of all was that it devalued music to the point where Spotify was able to kick open the door to unlimited interactive streaming, further endangering the future of recorded music.

    • Diddley says:

      “it devalued music” that is a very interesting idea that I am going to think about it since it just came to me that I don’t listen to music ANYWHERE near as much as I did even 10 years ago, now I hardly listen to it, maybe you are right and some psychological thing happened to my interest in music by getting it free for so many years.

  3. Dino says:

    how did he die?? the police need to come clean

  4. baros62 says:

    Sad when someone so young dies without living a full life.

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