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Grooveshark is far from out of the water regarding the copyright infringement case filed against it by several major labels, but there have been developments that take five individuals out of the picture.

Five Grooveshark employees – although only one still works at the company – have reached ‘consent judgement’ settlements that bars them from future copyright infringement or working for any company that systematically infringes copyrights.

TorrentFreak has published the relevant court documents, and points out that Grooveshark’s co-founders Sam Tarantino and Josh Greenberg have not yet signed similar agreements. Their company is pitching the new developments as a positive thing for its case though.

“We are pleased that the case between Universal Music and Escape Media has been narrowed and simplified by the removal of some individual defendants from the case upon their stipulation to simply obey the law — something Escape Media does every day through its active licensing of millions of tracks and its strict compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” it says in a statement.

Millions of tracks? Rightsholders would argue millions more have been made available in unlicensed form on Grooveshark, while their case has also focused on the question of whether the company’s own employees were involved in reuploading tracks taken down through that “strict compliance” policy.

Tarantino recently described himself as “literally broke” and said 2012 was “a year of getting punched in the face 10,000 times”. Is a settlement in sight that will make 2013 less painful? We await further developments.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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