Streaming music service Grooveshark is already engaged in a legal battle with Universal Music Group, but now it has publishers to content with too. A group of songwriters and music publishers have filed a lawsuit against the US-based company, claiming it is liable for copyright infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious infringement. CNET reports that the suit claims “users and subscribers are actively infringing plaintiffs’ copyrighted musical compositions” and that “Defendant neither sought nor obtained a license, permission, or authorization from plaintiffs”. It’s the latest legal headache for Grooveshark, which has already seen its apps removed from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market due to protests from rightsholders. The company’s argument has always been that it is DMCA-compliant, removing unlicensed songs on request. It has a licensing deal with EMI and a number of independent labels, but is the subject of anger from several of its streaming music rivals, who think any Grooveshark growth at their expense is fuelled by a lax approach to licensing.
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