Embattled Grooveshark is promising to launch a music-streaming service next year that will, for a change, be fully legit and safe from copyright lawsuits.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CEO Sam Tarantino said that next year his biz will launch a paid-for service designed to compete with Pandora.
The service, dubbed Broadcasts, will reportedly launch in January, and will charge users a monthly fee of 99 cents. For that, you'll get ad-free music stations and text chatrooms with the ability to share stations with friends.
According to Tarantino, the service will operate legally and without fear of legal takedowns by paying royalties to labels, just like other streaming services.
"We're trying to show that we’re doing everything we possibly can to be a legitimate player here," Tarantino was quoted as saying by the WSJ.
The word "legitimate" is key for Grooveshark, which for much of its existence has been squarely in the crosshairs of the recording industry – thanks it's shoot-first-talk-later approach.
The company invited users to stockpile tracks on its servers, and then streamed the music and ads for free via an HTML5 web player and apps. Record labels sought to shut down the service over claims of copyright infringement.
Apple and Google axed the Grooveshark app from their stores when Germany pushed the upstart to kill its service following demands for royalties from copyright holders.
Earlier this year, Grooveshark lost a US court case over allegations of copyright infringement brought by record labels.
Grooveshark claimed it didn't need to ask for permission to stream the music, nor did it need to obtain licenses, because the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protected it: music giants could request a track is taken down, and that would be that.
However, the judge ruled Grooveshark could not be ironically shielded from litigation using the anti-piracy law.
Tarantino sought to explain away those legal troubles to the WSJ with the reasoning that the labels, for some reason, wanted Grooveshark to pay them for using their music to make money.
"It was a catch-22," he was quoted as saying, "you need money to gain licenses, and you need licenses to gain money." ®