I usually anti-label, but in this case, I don't see the problem. It isn't like the labels are against all you can eat streaming services. They even support "free" ones, like Spotify and Mog. They just want a cut/ownership of the services. The only difference between Grooveshark and Spotify/Mog is a slightly larger library (due to Grooveshark's grey legality), international availability (annoying for the other services, but a weird state the current web has to deal with if they want to stay legal that Grooveshark can ignore), and worse cataloging. Grooveshark doesn't play ball with companies that are willing to play ball, so they get sued for copyright violations. Seems fair to me. Now we test the precedents of DMCA.
The problem is that the labels (much like Hollywood film studios) are clinging to an outdated business model and screwing us all in the process. There might have been a time when licensing content based on geographical region made sense; That time is long gone. When I go to a streaming website and am told I can't use it because of my IP prefix, I don't see a rights-holder making a fair licensing agreement, I see a bunch of clueless old rich dudes mumbling about "kids these days, with their digital doo-hickeys and global mumbo-jumbo."
I may be wrong, but at least here in Germany I'm pretty sure the unavailability of spotify, rdio and so on can't be explained with major labels refusing to allow those service here. No, when it comes to germany you have to look at the media right organisation GEMA that seems to demand unreasonable high fees from streaming services. There is an ongoing dispute between the GEMA and Google concerning Youtube, which is why you will see a lot of videos that are "unavailable in your region".
It seems as if at this point these companies aren't even bothering to negogiate with the GEMA anymore. I can't see why labels would refuse to offer their content here.
If Grooveshark did something like an artist revenue sharing program, I'd be more sympathetic to them. But they don't. I haven't seen Grooveshark really show interest in changing what is broken in the music industry. I see a company taking copyrighted work and throwing their ads next to them. Furthermore, taking customers' money to access special features related to the infringement.
Stolen cars can be bought for cheaper and with less paperwork. Ignoring laws does improve the Grooveshark experience. You say the laws need to be updated, but I honestly don't see what is wrong with a company holding rights to the music they produce. Grooveshark makes money off of copyright they don't own. Their own "Popular" featured section is chock full of infringement. They claim DMCA (a law I thought most techies liked), which is fine and well. Worked for YouTube. But they are going to have to defend that in court, and I have my suspicions that they might not be following the letter nor the spirit of DMCA.
I'd say plethora is wrong at least in US. Ridiculous retroactive copyright extensions would be my main gripe (though I doubt Grooveshark has any works that are about to become public domain). Or creative accounting that makes artist indebted even if their song is sold in millions.
Also I have a suspicion that most people use Grooveshark as a form of radio in such way that it doesn't really feed on artists main source of profit (CDs and concerts).
However don't take this out of context I still dislike lack of any mechanisms for artist reimbursement.
The anti-circumvention provisions are ridiculous. Decrypting a DVD you own is illegal - even posting a link to circumvention software is enough to violate the DMCA. Web sites got C&D orders for hosting a number. Dmitry Sklyarov was arrested for writing software. If those examples don't seem ludicrous enough, there are plenty more.
Dr. King once said "One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
I have to think he meant it in a different way, but it's still something I believe to be true. The laws regarding IP and copyright are obviously broken. I hope the record labels are missing out on enough money to go bankrupt, they've certainly worn out their good will and outgrown their usefulness in this digital world.
spotify - not available in most of the world.
rdio - not available in most of the world
mog - not available in most of the world
other online streaming services mentioned here - not available in most of the world
grooveshark - available everywhere
that says it all for me. fuck licensing. all it ever means is that the US wants to screw the rest of the world out of the deal.
> all it ever means is that the US wants to screw the rest of the world out of the deal.
Do you seriously think that? Is that really what you've gleaned from all of this?
The laws around licensing and ownership of content are different in every country. Different people even tend to OWN the same song in different countries. This is very complicated. Just because a company figures out a way to stream in the United States under the provisions of the DMCA and other laws does not mean they know how to stream that content legally in your country.
If no solutions exist for what you want in your country, and the market is lucrative enough to support one, why don't you start one?