The controversy around streaming service Grooveshark shows no signs of dying down. TuneCore’s Jeff Price has made waves with a blunt criticism of the company as “a fish rotting from the head down. The people running it are immoral and could care less about who and/or what they hurt as long as they make money”. NPMA president David Israelite has attacked the company for refusing to pay mechanical royalties too: “We clearly consider them bad actors who steal from songwriters.”
But Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino has given a lengthy interview to Evolver.fm to try to defend the service from its many enemies in the music industry. The piece presents Tarantino’s six arguments for why ‘recorded music wants to be free’, and sees him making a series of claims, including that Grooveshark has paid EMI $2.5m to date under its licensing deal with that company.
He also compares Grooveshark to YouTube. “Look at YouTube and search `Beatles,’ and every Beatles master is up there, and I know from a fact — from having screaming matches with the EMI guys — that Beatles isn’t supposed to be anywhere except for iTunes. So, it’s easy to demonize us, but here’s YouTube doing the same things — but they’re Google, so how can they be illegal?”