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Grooveshark Lawsuits

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#1 GPBear

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 04:20 PM

Goodnight, sweet Prince albums that weren't anywhere else online

 

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edit:



#2 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 07:43 PM

RIP Game Shark....used to get all the codes with that...
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#3 soulREBEL360

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 05:22 AM

http://grooveshark.io/



#4 1stN3rd

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 06:57 AM

Cool, but how can it have all the same music the old Grooveshark had? Seems pretty sketchy.

 

In any case, this news really saddened me. I'm pretty sure that Spotify basically deployed the full extent of their legal/financial resources to silence Grooveshark, so as not jeopardize their precious business model of completely yoking music into advertising. What I find particularly disgusting is how Grooveshark's "farewell message" is couched in moral terms:

We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite the best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service.

 

That was wrong. We apologize. 

Without reservation.

 

...

 

If you love music and respect the artists songwriters and everyone else who makes good music possible, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders. 

 

 

 

They're meant to hang their heads in shame for "not securing proper licenses," and then point to a bunch of services that do – Spotify, etc. It has the effect of making Grooveshark look like the big evil bad guys who stole from artists and Spotify the valiant heroes who swoop in and find a way to actually pay artists.

 

But in fact it's exactly the opposite. Grooveshark never pretended to be a substitute for buying the album. They were completely upfront about being a free music service. Spotify, on the other hand, does everything in its power to establish itself as the new model for listening to music in the 21st century, since, as they patronizingly argue, the music industry can no longer figure out a way to make money on its own. Yet it's so transparent that's it's simply that the smell of cash has lured investors from all corners, and they'll do whatever it takes to shove it down our throats so they can make their billions. Fuck them.


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#5 soulREBEL360

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:46 AM

Record stores get away with this all the time in how they very seldom (if ever) pay the original artist of a record they sold for 99 cents (or less).  I'm willing to bet that in a few years when these paid music streaming sites get hammered into the ground with lawsuits and shit these labels are going to go after our beloved record stores with the same force and fury.  Just watch.



#6 1stN3rd

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:31 AM

Yeah, but you're talking about a whole different scale of money with mom-and-pop record shops vs. billion-dollar tech industry bubbles. No one's worried about an independent record shop owner making $30,00-50,000 a year, or whatever.

The danger I see with Spotify is that it isn't just a neutral platform for delivering tunes to people, but it's actually forcing music makers to change to accommodate its structure. In other words, how is Spotify usually experienced? I have a younger brother and sister who use it all the time. From what I can tell, they use it as sort of a droning ambience in the background, where the goal isn't to closely to listen to the music, but just have it be there in the background. This is also how it's used in offices, Starbucks, etc. With that kind of listening, you can't have any intense or jarring sounds. Everything needs to be smooth, even, uniform, unsurprising, etc. To accommodate that kind of listening, the music must become more formulaic, homogeneous and etc. And, I mean, do I even need to argue that that's already happening? It's all fucking pop out there. Even a lot of my favorite artists have been forced to go in a pop direction, because the carpet has literally been swept out from under their feet in terms of the profit-structure that made it financially-feasible to produce music that is even the slightest bit adventurous or unusual.

 

I realize this is a paranoid, worst-case scenario way of looking at things, but, nonetheless, I see things going in a pretty ugly direction unless people start speaking up about it. 



#7 fungus

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 10:01 AM

Grooveshark was the equivalent of guys in the 1990s selling ripped CDs and home-printed covers from the back of their cars in neighborhood parking lots. People like saving a buck, and we all respect the hustle even when we know the guys aren't legit.

 

This is not a case where Spotify is the bad guy shutting down Grooveshark the good guy.  Grooveshark was operating outside ethical and legal norms from the start (they admit this) and their opposition wasn't just Spotify, it was also publishers, labels, artists, and everyone else trying to do legitimate business in music.  


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#8 SwampThing

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 10:02 AM

lmao you realize that it's because of free "services" like grooveshark that the whole new business model of spotify and pay-per-streams pay structures came about in the first place?


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#9 1stN3rd

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 10:48 AM

lmao you realize that it's because of free "services" like grooveshark that the whole new business model of spotify and pay-per-streams pay structures came about in the first place?

Maybe, but that's not really the point. My point is: Follow the money: Did Grooveshark monetize with ads? Did they push an aggressive PR marketing campaign in an attempt to make their service a household name (like what the fuck is this bullshit?)? No, I don't think so, and that's because Grooveshark was a modest operation involving a couple people operating at a small scale. They were content to remain low-profile, operating in the murky waters of digital piracy, giving people convenient access to out-of-print Prince albums or whatever. And that was fine.

 

The problem is, having these entities of questionable legal status floating around reflects badly on something like Spotify, whose mission is to legitimize their "service" into "the way the music industry functions" in the 21st century. But it's all lies and propaganda. There is absolutely nothing wrong in the model of artists recording albums, making physical copies and distributing them through record labels. It's just that businessman saw an opportunity to leverage a combination of smartphone "app" technology, pop culture and oh yeah, music, or whatever it is they're calling it these days, into a revenue stream on the order of billions. That's the important part, that music just happens to be one of the variables involved, but it could by anything else as far as these investors are concerned. The point is that there's money to be made, and these are bloodthirsty investors who don't give a shit about a precious idea like the sanctity of music. The smell of blood is in the air, and the vultures are circling.



#10 SwampThing

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 02:44 PM

it sounds like you're approaching this exclusively from a consumer standpoint. nobody wants ads stuffed down their throat while they're listening to music, and living in the internet age sometimes we can get spoiled (the free option to listen to music used to be to sit through ads on the radio or on mtv). you put quotes around the fact that the industry is changing, as though that is not true. it's increasingly difficult for anyone above the common-denominator level to make any money off of record sales (thanks to youtube, grooveshark, music blogs- why blind-buy something when you can just stream it and forget about the album in a week?)

 

Spotify isn't good, i don't use it, much of what you say about their attitudes and the aura they give off is true, but at least they're getting SOMETHING to artists. it's only contributing to the death of the industry in that it's one of the very few "successful" models to actually make some money off of music, so people are jumping on this model because money is trickling away like sand through their fingers. I don't like this new system where artists get paid pennies on the dollar for streams, but it's just a natural reaction to the public not buying music the way they used to.

 

it's an age when people refuse to buy things because "music and art shouldn't be monetized", thinking only of fat-cat executives and giving them the finger, not realizing that monetizing music and art is what makes being a musician or artist a sustainable thing to do in the first place.


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#11 1stN3rd

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 03:28 PM

I agree with everything you said, it's just that I think chalking it up to the fact that "the industry is changing" is too abstract. Music has always existed in an uneasy relationship with commerce, so you have get into specifics. An artist with a home studio who can produce a slick-sounding record all their own with a devoted fanbase of 3000 people can make $35,000 per record (depending on the cost of pressing/distribution). That right there is enough to live on (combined with promotion/touring). It doesn't need to be anymore complicated than that. The artist makes their art, the fans buy it and everyone's happy. And labels can even get involved at this level to help with distribution/promotion.

 

Instead you have these businessmen who basically operate like middlemen, who are evaluating it from a purely economic standpoint and see that there's money to be made. Which of course they're entitled to do. Just as I'm entitled to call them out for being full of shit. What I'm saying, though, is that this is counter to the aims of the music industry itself, because these people have no actual involvement with music. It's just another variable to them. What happens when that revenue stream runs dry? Do you think those guys are gonna stick around? Hell no, they'll be gone on the next venture, and you'll have a whole bunch of people without a leg to stand on.

 

Even the situation thirty years back with major labels was preferable to some dickhead with an app idea dictating the future of music. I've been to these Tech Conferences and spoken with the people who are developing these things. It's astounding how little involvement they have with the content used by the apps they're developing. They literally will tell you point blank that they basically just want to get rich as quickly as possible.



#12 SwampThing

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 04:52 PM

i guess all i'm saying is that spotify isn't dictating the future of anything, they're just opportunists rushing in to fill a gap in an industry that is faltering, if not falling apart. if anything is dictating this it's peoples waning desire and interest in buying physical stuff. maybe they're contributing to it, but grooveshark is contributing to that just as much if not more. i'm SURE the people at spotify are only in it for the money, but at least they're helping tamper the floodgate

 

i think your summary of the ease with which an artist can make a full-time living is a little bit of a simplification, you seem to be assuming that every artist is a single-person bedroom hip hop producer with very little overhead who can produce at least an album every year. even if you were able to make a cool $35,000 on an album with 3000 fans (where did you get 3000 diehard fans guaranteed to shell out $10+ a piece?), no real promotion, no need to buy equipment, no need to pay for mixing/mastering, no need to go into an actual studio, and no need to pay anyone else (musicians, technicians, etc)- i don't know how many times you'd be able to pull that off consistently

 

I like the idea of artists selling music directly to the people. whenever blu needs dope money he sells some junk on bandcamp. but if guys like knx could make such an acceptable living just through bandcamp, why do they all seek to be signed? because it's extremely hard for the little guy out there. it might be technically "easier" than ever to get music to the people, but it's a lot more complicated


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#13 1stN3rd

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 07:58 PM

Yeah, it's complex no doubt. It's just with the resurgence in vinyl and other physical products, self-releasing platforms like bandcamp, and the ease and cheapness of quality recording equipment, I see no reason why music biz can't continue as usual, just on a more modest scale.

 

There's a substantial unaddressed question lurking behind the comment about an artist with 3000 fans surrounding the issue of hype and celebrity, like how can an artist garner an audience without a centralized media landscape with MTV, journalists, press passes, venues, etc. But that's a whole nother can of worms. It's all a big tangled mess. I still think that Spotify and everything associated with it is scummy. I mean the fact that the fucking RIAA of all organizations has elected to make a website called "Why Music Matters" wherein they tout Spotify, among other digital music services, is enough to start red flags going off in my mind.

 

edit: Back to Grooveshark, and just to reiterate: My basic point is that it worked ok having a shaky truce between content owners (labels, artists, publishers) and the shady pirates who operated in some legal grey area. When those pirates get eliminated by legit-seeming but still basically pirating entities like Spotify, who nominally are not distributing music for free but are in fact paying artists a pittance, I find it much more ominous. And those people are being supported by the RIAA, who is the number-one organization leading the fight against file-sharing!?!? The whole thing is sketchy. So the question is, who is paying whom? Where's the money coming from and where is it going? Why does the RIAA love Spotify but hate grooveshark, when the difference between them is negligible? What shady deals are going on behind the scenes? And why can't we just ditch all these middlemen, and just deliver music directly to the people, maybe through the filter of labels run by other musicians (David Byrne's Luaka Bop label comes to mind), but that's it?



#14 GPBear

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:48 PM

giphy.gif

 

I'm more with 1st tho, on the premise that streaming sites were basically invented by underground nerdy music guys in the first place. Something like Spotify is more of like someone going to Harvard Business, they don't know anything about music, but they do know how to write a loan application, and then hire some nerdy grad student to co-opt the underground streaming sites - except "legally". It's not like grooveshark was really illegal on the level of a Napster even, it's not any different from Youtube minus the videos. But once Spotify or last.fm comes along and legitimizes the market, then Grooveshark and other underground streaming sites get left in the dust and made to look like a bunch of thieves. This is somewhat how the business worked back in the day, I would never sit here and try and say "Oh back 30 years ago it was better" because you can go ask the artists themselves if they would rather have to work with a liberal art student tech-start up guy trying to make a dollar, or a conservative business man type smoking a cigar behind a desk.

 

Hip-hop was just a bunch of non-street kids who lived in the projects, then they went underground and hung out in rec rooms. At some point, businessmen came in and retroactively made what those kids were doing illegal. However, it's not like they came in overnight and took out grooveshark, it was few years where music fans could slowly see the tides turning, that's why we all jumped ship and a lot of people turned back to vinyl and finding an interest in getting the rare records again by the time the streaming sites got their final nail in the coffin.

 

Turn of 2000, people and especially music fans because of the death of sampled Hip-Hop and invention of the mp3 player, kind of gained a realization of how much music there was. This coincided with the advent of the internet to create a perfect storm of what happened in the music industry. Now, the glory days are over, and the unfiltered access to all the best albums ever has pretty much dried up. We regret this, but that's because we have some memory of the days before Google, so we think it's sad because "Oh the future generation won't get to see what we did" but the difference is, kids even a few years younger than us truly don't give a fuck about hunting down rare albums. Because they don't have memories of pre-90s radio.

 

People like "us" underground music fans, are upset because we don't get to download all our music anymore, but it's only half-righteous indignation because most of us already got what we wanted by the time the gates closed. So really, we're complaining on behalf of the future generation's ability to hunt down the rare Dilla beat tapes or whatever. The difference is, those kids don't have any appreciation for those classics, so they don't see the need to put up a fight for the right to party stream.


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#15 fungus

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 07:01 AM

a23UbMX.jpg


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#16 GPBear

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 10:10 PM

I tried making an album based on that cover, but my guitar exploded.



#17 1stN3rd

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Posted Today, 03:07 PM

So...this exists...

 

http://grooveshark.li/

 

What I'm wondering is, did anyone not see this coming? 

 

For the past few weeks (and mostly because of this thread), I've been acquainting myself with all the current perspectives on copyright and what I've seen really saddens me. The most popular position representing the artist's side of things, the stance taken by organizations like the Content Creators Coalition, seems to me to get things very backward. They take this real heavy, morally-outraged stance, like referring to music on Youtube as "criminal" and sniffing out evidence of "piracy" in all corners of the web, like some sort of fascist witchhunt or something. If these people get what they want, it's going to be a horrorshow. Not only will we not have physical records, we also won't have music on youtube and shit like that. Our options will be some convoluted subscription bait-and-switch shit, where again the tech people will come out with the hindmost.

 

I don't think you can just put the cat back in the bag and act like this music piracy stuff will just vanish. That didn't work with Prohibition, and it sure as hell ain't gonna work now. What I'm saying is they ought to get a little more imaginative with it. What's the point of making music in the first place? I would assume it's because you want people to hear it. So, they ought to work with that impulse to want to hear music, instead of fighting against it. 

 

Obviously, that's a tough pill to swallow, because it requires pinning things on something more intangible than just saying "This is my property. You can't have it." But, again, the problem is music is not anyone's property, and anyone whose worth their salt as an artist knows that, otherwise they wouldn't have become an artist in the first place. I get that artist's are stuck between a rock and a hard place here. But it's pissing into the wind and it's also potentially very dangerous to side with the intellectual property lawyers and courts, instead of the fans who are actually buying and listening to this music.

 

/rant over



#18 GPBear

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Posted Today, 03:29 PM

What I love most, is the industry argument

 

"Your pirates are gonna take us all down!" First of all, it's a billion dollar industry - so, I doubt it.

 

But most importantly....fucking good. I never downloaded music, because I supported artists. But then after years of hearing interview after interview of artists (Tom Petty, CCR, to Wu-Tang, and Dilla) complain about the music industry, and then hear the music industry say how "pirating will bring us down!" eventually, I put two-and-two together and said:

 

"Hey, if the industry is terrible, and downloading music brings down the industry, I'm gonna download some music AND movies"

 

Because these industry people are saying, if you don't stop pirating we won't have millions to put Katy Perry on Tour, or make half billion dollar Transformer 8 sequels.

 

Again, good.


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#19 SwampThing

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Posted Today, 06:12 PM

artists always have had friction with the industry and major labels (and small labels), but none of those artists you listed are pleased about your ability to pirate music, nor are filmmakers (indie or studio alike). they aren't like "yeah, download music and screw the system!" because even with industry beef the system is what gets artists paid.

 

the reason we have so many katy perry albums and transformers sequels is because those are the lowest common denominator, and their broad audiences consist of those "average" middle-of-the-road people who still buy music and pay for movies in droves (not including all the saints on STMB). "average" people don't seek out interesting, under-the-radar music and film and pay for them. they fork over $13 for transformers because they don't really give a shit. these people are steering the entertainment economy with their wallets. some people who seek out more interesting stuff do pay for it, but there are already far less of "us" than "them", so niche markets become even smaller. anybody who thinks that "real artists" don't think of their art as commodifiable has never worked as an artist. i know i'm repeating myself at this point but making your art into a commodity (as tacky as that might sound on a surface level) is how one sustains themselves as an artist.

 

bottom line is that even though you may not realize it (or claim to be an exception), the ability to stream stuff for free has removed a lot of base incentives for purchasing music. yes, it may have broadened many of our musical tastes (undeniably a good thing), but any time you stream something for free just think about what you normally would have to do to be enjoying that song. you'd have had to buy a CD, tape, record, just to hear it. I've bought a BUNCH of cds that ended up being wack. Is the new kool keith album good? well... only one way to find out: save up and buy it. oh shit, it's not good? fuck. now, you can stream his new album, instantly determine its wackness, and kool keith doesn't get paid. (or maybe you'd like the KK album, it doesn't matter, you had to buy it to know and that's what's important)

 

it wasn't a world where we all listened to less music, it was a world where we understood the give and take of art (or just didn't conceive that such anarchy was even possible)



#20 1stN3rd

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Posted Today, 06:17 PM

What I love most, is the industry argument

 

"Your pirates are gonna take us all down!" First of all, it's a billion dollar industry - so, I doubt it.

 

But most importantly....fucking good. I never downloaded music because I supported artists. But then after years of hearing interview after interview of artists (Tom Petty, CCR, to Wu-Tang, and Dilla) complain about the music industry, and then hear the music industry say how "pirating will bring us down!" eventually, I put two-and-two together and said:

 

"Hey, if the industry is terrible, and downloading music brings down the industry, I'm gonna download some music AND movies"

 

Because these industry people are saying, if you don't stop pirating we won't have millions to put Katy Perry on Tour, or make half billion dollar Transformer 8 sequels.

 

Again, good.

Haaaaa...exactly.

 

The fucked-up thing is, though, yes, those record companies were bad, but there are ways to get screwed even worse. But the idea that piracy is to blame is a laugh. The problem is leeches that want to use music as a vehicle for profit-steroids, but I don't see that changing any time soon as long as there's someone out there who is willing to slut it up, or do a minstrel show, or whatever poseur shit they need to for a quick buck, and someone to bankroll it, and an audience to eat it up. I'd be lying if I said it was just the money, though. Most of these people enjoy their dumb entertainment, both making it and consuming it.

 

I do think it's a house of cards, though, and the whole thing is gonna collapse at some point. The music can only get so watered down before people realize there's nothing there. This shit with trap hihats and euro synths and white girls singing about teenage romance...really aint the move.

 

While we're on the topic, I would recommend this book to anyone who can get their hands on it:

 

41pW5C70M%2BL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jp

 

You get the whole scoop of what went down with music in the 20th century, from Bird and Miles and Dizzy Gillespie at Minton's and 52nd street in 1948, all the way up to, Live Aid and the MTV generation in 1989, from someone who had front row seats to the whole thing.



#21 GPBear

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Posted Today, 06:32 PM

artists always have had friction with the industry and major labels (and small labels), but none of those artists you listed are pleased about your ability to pirate music, nor are filmmakers (indie or studio alike). they aren't like "yeah, download music and screw the system!" because even with industry beef the system is what gets artists paid.

 

the reason we have so many katy perry albums and transformers sequels is because those are the lowest common denominator, and their broad audiences consist of those "average" middle-of-the-road people who still buy music and pay for movies in droves

 

just think about what you normally would have to do to be enjoying that song. you'd have had to buy a CD, tape, record, just to hear it.

 

 

That's kinda backwards. If I buy a CD, the artist is usually already paid and they make like 10 cents on the dollar, hopefully. Pirating takes money out of the industry's pockets. And so, they won't want to hire the artist again. The artist isn't made that I pirated music, he's mad because he's losing work in the future.

 

 

I'm well aware of these arguments. I'm saying I'm glad, because if the industry collapses, only the people who put out art will get paid. Kool Keith shouldn't get paid if his shit is whack. If it's good, he doesn't just live off record sales, he gets to show up to a show, and make a couple grand just because the verses are great. Yeah I said it. Wu Tang puts out commercial garbage, shoulda kept it real.

 

It's like Fran Lebowitz says about Times Square, "What would Times Square be if there wasn't all this glitz...I don't know...a butcher, a bookstore"

 

I deleted it from my post, but yeah I was saying how we have to look at the intentions of people buying music. They use it to distract themselves, from whatever. If there wasn't a Katy Perry, they wouldn't listen to music. I don't want people being treated like a lowest common denominator just so that indie artists can eat on the scraps from their wallets. There should be a change in why people buy music, because they respect artisty. The first step to that is the current 24/7 entertainment industry collapsing.

 

I think the industry has brainwashed a lot of people, or made it seem cool to defend it by acting like you have some inside knowledge of how pirating really leads to the downfall of musicians. It's a billion dollar industry, never blame the bottom guy for taking something for free. Blame the big guy for not using his money to figure out new ways to make it even for everyone.






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