I work in music, with a lot of indie labels and musicians, and for once the ENTIRE industry is inline on something. Grooveshark has been actively hostile to artists requesting their music be removed from the service, their terms are unfriendly and their staff is rude, and if even a fraction of the allegations against their management are true they should be held personally accountable.
Everyone in this industry understands playing fast and loose with regulations but Grooveshark repeatedly crossed the line and has made only hollow attempts at seeing artists compensated. For once this isn't RIAA greed, it's acceptable and appropriate action.
I used to work for Grooveshark and your accusations are pretty unfair. We've always complied with the DMCA and our terms are equal to what you'd find on any other UGC site. GS also signed up hundreds if not thousands of small indie labels that have loved working with us. Have you seen the Featured section or any of the Artist theme promotions? Yea, many of those are unsigned artists that we promote often for no cost. We've done great things for bands like Skyrocket Love and Tay Dizm. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/040811grooveshark
> Their staff is rude
You're welcome to form your own opinions, but I can tell you that the people who work at Grooveshark are some of the nicest and most fun-loving individuals you'll ever meet. You have to be humble in this industry. You don't make a whole lot of money and you have to hustle to sign up every act you can. You go to every concert. You meet with every executive. And at the end of the day you give away 70% of your hard-earned money to someone else.
I personally work with hundreds of artists and MANY of them have been treated terribly by customer service when trying to initiate take-downs. When urged to sign licensing deals it's all or nothing, and if they choose nothing the music remains up on the site regardless. Really — having worked with literally every streaming company I've never seen a higher rate of artist and indie label dis-satisfaction. Not an accusation but a blunt observation.
As for rude: you just demonstrated it. If you think you're giving away 70% of "your money" you don't get it. You're getting a 40% commission of THEIR MONEY. Your money has been made of the backs of creators, and to turn around and call those indie label executives shitheads doesn't endear you to anyone no matter how many concerts you go to.
The only accusations being made, not by me, are the ones in the lawsuit: which claim that Grooveshark executives were uploading content illegally to their own system. If true this is one of the more offensive things I've ever seen from a startup.
And I'm curious — really asking not being passive agressive — do you see an iOS app developed by an independent developer as belonging to both the developer and to Apple?
I'd say that Apple's 30% is a commission based on the sales and service they offer, and yes it's worth it...especially given the market position and the fact that there's verification of IP ownership, etc. But in the end the app itself belongs to the creator, just as the music belongs to the artist (or label, depending on the deal.)
Seems a bit like perspective, but it goes deeper: if the music belongs to the artist who created it then they should have the right to pull it from a service and expect reasonable effort to keep it out of the service — YouTube's content ID does a commendable job. (Though it is abused by some of the majors...but the algorithm itself is really solid.)
> do you see an iOS app developed by an independent developer as belonging to both the developer and to Apple?
I've develop a few iOS apps. The money is Apple's until they pay me. I'm entitled to that money under the payment schedule we agreed upon, but Apple can do whatever they want with it in the meantime. I'm sure they do make use of it.
Ultimately yes, but the only other choice was to not distribute the work at all. Musicians are given the same choice. If you do not want others to use your work, you can keep it private or not create it at all.
He edited "shithead executives" down to just "executives." I was responding to the original text.
And yes, some labels make money off of the backs of artists, some are really great and make money with artists. Just like some streaming services work out licensing deals before launching a service and others don't.
Please ping me personally on my email and I'll be happy to connect you with the right people. More often than not, these matters are simple communication issues that can be resolved. Even though I don't work there anymore, I'd be thrilled to help out the community any way I can.
Re:"money" issue. Everyone has a hand in making an artist successful. Yes the artist produces the content and should be compensated for such. I fully agree. But Grooveshark brings the audience, the user experience, the hosting, and the analytics. These services aren't free. Do you get mad when people sell you tap water in a bottle and demand $3.00 for something that costs $0.25?
I'd be pretty mad if my friends and neighbors were taking five-gallon buckets of my water, bringing it to an Aquafina factory, and then an Aquafina sales rep was ringing my doorbell trying to sell me $3 bottles of water.
I've spoken with a lot of label heads from the more influential names on the list and they were in no way okay with being listed, some actively upset by Grooveshark providing a bad list. The comments echo that, albeit with too much hostility at times.
That is incorrect. You're supposed to send a valid notice to the registered DMCA agent. Here's the sort of ruling you get when you send out defective notices:
"In Perfect 10, Inc. v. CCBill LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that the properly constructed notice must exist in one communication. A copyright owner cannot “cobble together adequate notice from separately defective notices” because that would unduly burden the OSP."
Miscommunications happen. Its a fact of life and its even moreso when you're dealing with a complex legal matter. I'm offering up my time as an unpaid ex-employee to help someone out who seems to be having difficulty. The offer stands to others but not indefinitely because as time passes, I'll know less and less people who work at the company.
Rhapsody and Rdio are pretty close. They're like Spotify but I believe both have browser based access. Catalog is a little smaller but I hear plenty of people say they prefer them over Spotify. None of them competes with Grooveshark's catalog, because a huge chunk of Grooveshark's catalog is not there legally.
Yeah Rdio is pretty great, and they give artists access to an under-publicised affiliate program allowing them to earn money off the audience they drive to the platform. Solid iOS app. Personally my favorite of the streaming services.
I'd also keep an eye on eMusic. It's more geared towards downloads, but they offer a lot of really great editorial content for discovery plus they offer multiple streaming radio stations for members. They've got smart people so I think they might make a surge in features.
A lot of people are into MOG.com as well. I have issues with their CEOs attitude towards licenses and how the money goes to creators, but otherwise the catalog is strong and they offer solid access across multiple platforms.