That was quick: The free streaming music app Aurous has suspended operations just days after its launch to comply with a restraining order issued on behalf of the Recording Association of America (RIAA).
The music trade group filed a lawsuit against Aurous earlier this week, alleging that the application “blatantly infringes” the rights of major labels and their artists. As part of that lawsuit, the RIA had asked for a temporary restraining order to shut down Aurous, which a Florida court subsequently granted.
Aurous took its app offline late Thursday, but the app makers said on Twitter that their lawyers are “actively working to secure our place in the music eco system,” adding: “Rest assured we want to be around a long time.”
Aurous offered users a Spotify-like experience with a stylish user interface, but without any of the associated subscription fees, and without any licenses from music rights holders. The app made headlines when it launched last week for being a kind of “Popcorn Time for music” — a reference to the P2P-powered video streaming service that has drawn the ire of Hollywood ever since its launch in early 2014.
However, at least from a technical perspective, Aurous and Popcorn Time are quite different: Popcorn Time uses BitTorrent technology to distribute movie and TV show files between its users. Aurous on the other hand doesn’t currently use P2P technology at all. Instead, it taps into music catalogs publicly available on the web.
Some of those include SoundCloud and YouTube, a fact that the Aurous developers have been making ever since getting sued by the music industry. But the RIAA lawsuit points out that Aurous also taps into the catalogs of Russian MP3 websites that offer unlicensed music downloads. “By providing this all-in-one infringement service, Defendants give themselves a significant unfair advantage over competing legitimate services for music streaming and downloading that charge a fee or are supported by advertising,” the lawsuit argues.