Music streaming website Grooveshark has shut down its operations in Germany after it faced rising charges from GEMA– the country’s representative of music publishers.
According to The Local, the website was blocked to German users after increased demand for fees from GEMA left Grooveshark with high operating costs. GEMA also bans YouTube videos in Germany that violate its copyright.
Grooveshark, which operates by allowing users to upload music that is then streamed for free, has urged its German users to contact GEMA complaining about the loss of service.
The website is having a turbulent time as of late. The New York Times notes that the website is currently facing suits from Universal Music Group in New York. Executives of the website say that their operations are protected by the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act which allows websites to host third party content, as Grooveshark does.
It is estimated that the music website has between 30 and 35 million users worldwide.