RIAA Wants $17 Million Damages From ‘New’ Grooveshark

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The RIAA is asking a New York federal court to issue a default judgment against the 'reincarnation' of the defunct Grooveshark music service. The record labels are demanding more than $13 million in piracy damages plus another $4 million for willful counterfeiting.

groove2Earlier this year the long running lawsuit between the RIAA and Grooveshark came to an end. However, within days a new site was launched aiming to take its place.

The RIAA wasn’t happy with this development and quickly sued the reincarnation, obtaining a restraining order to prevent domain registrars and hosting companies from offering their services to the site.

Namecheap quickly suspended the original domain name. CloudFlare initially refused to cooperate, but after protests the CDN provider was ordered by the court to comply.

The new Grooveshark wasn’t giving up easily though and continued to operate for a while under several new domain names. However, in recent weeks the entire operation has gone dark.

The RIAA, undeterred, has no intention of dropping the case. This week the music group asked a New York federal court to issue a default judgment against the site’s operator.

In their motion the record labels describe the site as a copyright-infringing operation which tried to use the Grooveshark brand to gain popularity with former users.

This worked, as the site was widely covered in the press. However, with the labels controlling Grooveshark’s trademarks it only provided the RIAA with more legal ammunition.

“Defendants’ Counterfeit Service prominently featured counterfeit replicas of the Grooveshark Marks as well as identical graphical elements taken from the original Grooveshark website,” the RIAA writes in its motion (pdf) this week.

In addition, the labels also accuse the new Grooveshark of distributing numerous copyrighted tracks without permission.

“Plaintiffs have provided conclusive evidence that infringing copies of MP3 files that correspond to each of the Works-in-Suit have been streamed, reproduced, and distributed via the Counterfeit Service to computers located in New York.”

The RIAA lists 89 tracks as evidence and asks for the maximum statutory damages for each infringement. This brings the total amount to a massive $13,350,000.

In addition, the record labels are asking for $4 million for willful counterfeiting of two Grooveshark marks, and another $400,000 for cybersquatting, by registering four Grooveshark domain names in bad faith.

Finally, the RIAA has also filed a request for the court to transfer the four Grooveshark domain names so they can’t be used for any infringing actions in the future.

There is little doubt that the RIAA will win the case, especially since the operator of the new Grooveshark has not appeared in court. However, since the operator is reportedly located in Ukraine, it may be difficult to cash in on those millions.


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