[credit provider=”Flickr/Alex Proimos” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/”]
Music startup Grooveshark was already getting sued by one of the big record labels, Universal, for using songs without permission.Now, Sony and Warner are piling on. The New York Times first reported the suits last night.
That’s not too surprising: a couple weeks ago, some emails came out that suggested the company’s chairman knew the service was using copyrighted songs without permission: “we are achieving all this growth without paying a dime to any of the labels,” he wrote, as CNET first reported.
One possible revenue plan, according these emails, was to get to 100 million users, then sell usage data back to the labels for less than the price of licensing the music.
Grooveshark had already settled a lawsuit with EMI, which was the fourth major label. But last month, Universal bought EM I’s catalogue.
Grooveshark’s service is actually pretty cool — it’s got a nice interface, and was one of the first services to let you choose any song to listen to for free. But in this case, they probably should have asked for permission first.