Photo: matiasjajaja via Flickr
Online music startup Grooveshark planned to let users post songs to the service without getting permission from record labels. Then, it planned to sell information about those users back to the labels.That’s according to an email from Grooveshark chairman Sina Simantob which was submitted in a court filing today, as noticed earlier by Greg Sandoval at CNET.
Universal, one of the big four (soon to be three) record labels is suing Grooveshark for copyright infringement, and accused company employees of uploading copyrighted music to the service. Grooveshark denies it.
The filing doesn’t shed any new light on that accusation, but some of the emails look pretty bad, including one that reads in part:
In our case, we use the label’s songs till we get a 100m uniques, by which time we can tell the labels who is listening to their music and where, and then turn around and charge them for the very data we got from them, ensuring that what we pay them total for streaming is less than what they pay us for data mining.
That’s quite an audacious business plan.
It also makes a mockery of Spotify, Rhapsody, Apple, Google, and all the other online music companies who have tried to strike licensing deals first.