The team behind Grooveshark, the once-popular music-sharing site that let users stream tunes and create playlists gratis, announced Thursday that it's officially shutting down. As the Verge points out, this conclusion was almost a guarantee: The company has been embroiled in a series of lawsuits over alleged copyright infringement for more than three years. Its recent waving of the white flag is part of a settlement agreement with such major record companies as EMI, Sony, and Universal. Other details on the settlement are currently unavailable, but the Verge notes that Grooveshark could've been liable for millions of dollars in damages.
Here's Grooveshark's full letter to its users:
Dear music fans,
Today we are shutting down Grooveshark.
We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service.
That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.
As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all the data on our servers and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.
At that time of our launch, few music services provided the experience we wanted to offer and think you deserve. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. There are now hundreds of fan friendly, affordable services available for you to choose from, including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody and Rdio, among many others.
If you love music and respect the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible, use a licensed service that compensates artists and other rights holders. You can find out more about the many great services available where you live here: http://whymusicmatters.com/find-music.
It has been a privilege getting to know so many of you and enjoying great music together. Thank you for being such passionate fans.
Yours in music,
Your friends at Grooveshark
April 30, 2015