grooveshark_universal_music_group

Grooveshark is launching its new Broadcast feature this week, but the streaming music service has received a significant setback in its ongoing court battle with Universal Music Group. Last year, a New York court struck down UMG’s claim that US DMCA legislation does not apply to songs released before 1972 (Bulletin, 11-Jul-12), putting a dent in its copyright infringement case against Grooveshark. “The Court’s decision on the DMCA is significant not only for Grooveshark, but for this industry as a whole,” said the company at the time. Well, that decision has now been reversed in the New York State Supreme Court of Appeals, as UMG prevailed in its appeal. “As a practical matter, this means that service providers who permit users to upload pre-1972 sound recordings are liable for copyright infringement,” copyright lawyer Lawrence Iser tells Billboard, which notes that this raises issues for YouTube, SoundCloud and other sites, not just YouTube. More complexity? You got it: Iser also claims the new decision conflicts with a previous ruling in another prominent copyright battle: MP3tunes v Capitol Records.

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