NEW YORK (Hypebot) – New York District Court Judge Judge Thomas Griesa ruled Monday that Grooveshark and its parent company Escape Media Group are liable for copyright infringement by its employees who were encouraged to upload 5,977 tracks without proper licencing. Grooveshark had sought protection under Digital Music Copyright Act safe harbor provisions.
“Each time Escape streamed one of plaintiffs’ songs recordings, it directly infringed upon plaintiffs’ exclusive performance rights,” the Griesa wrote in a 57-page decision. "By overtly instructing its employees to upload as many files as possible to Grooveshark as a condition of their employment, Escape engaged in purposeful conduct with a manifest intent to foster copyright infringement via the Grooveshark service."
Grooveshark's free service is hugely popular with an estimated 30 million plus users. As of Tuesday morning the site was still up and functioning.