Sony, Warner join suit against Grooveshark

Dec. 15, 2011 at 4:42 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Two of the world's biggest record companies said they joined a U.S. lawsuit against Grooveshark, an online music service accused of infringing copyrights.

Sony Music Entertainment and Access Industries Inc.'s Warner Music Group joined in an amended complaint Thursday to a suit filed last month by Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group in U.S. District Court in New York, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The amended complaint alleges Grooveshark executives personally uploaded copies of songs to which they didn't have the rights, a claim made in the original suit filed in November. Thursday's amendment also added a new detail that intimated Grooveshark knew it needed to license the material available on its service.

The lawsuit alleged Grooveshark Chief Executive Officer Samuel Tarantino and others personally uploaded thousands of songs for which they didn't have rights, citing unspecified "business records" of Escape Media Inc., Grooveshark's parent company. The Gainesville, Fla., company, Tarantino and other executives were named personally as defendants in the lawsuit, along with Escape Media.

The Journal said a Grooveshark spokesman did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The music industry has sued many online music services that allow users to download songs to hard drives. But Grooveshark is a streaming service that lets users listen to songs free as they play through Web browsers without keeping a copy.

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