Facing steep penalties over copyright infringement violations, free-for-all music streaming site Grooveshark has shut down. In March, a U.S. Federal Judge granted EMI Music North America a motion for summary judgment against the site, with the corporation claiming Grooveshark had violated its copyrights. That decision could have cost Grooveshark more than $420 million, and with other lawsuits against the company still pending—including a hefty $15 billion suit from Universal Music Group—the site smartly decided to pack it in.
In a post on the site, Grooveshark’s management admits to making “very serious mistakes” by “failing to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service,” which was uploaded by its users and Grooveshark employees and made available to anyone for free. It has agreed to wipe any records of copyrighted material from its site, hand over its online and mobile platforms, and surrender any patents it holds.
Grooveshark was founded by three Florida college students in 2006 and has been facing down legal challenges ever since, with most labels claiming the streaming site’s lack of licenses or payments amounted to theft.