Rick is an experienced Nashville intellectual-property litigator and an erstwhile part-time professor at Vanderbilt University Law School whose writing and teaching focuses on copyright issues but whose law practice involves a wide variety of IP-related disputes.
Through the Grooveshark’s Jaws
In my last two posts, we took an overview of copyright law as it applies to online music services, and at six of the major new such services. We’ll now turn our focus to the specific services, starting with the inspiration for this series of posts, Grooveshark (which is currently a defendant in a lawsuit here in Nashville). Grooveshark’s business model is so interesting, it’ll take three posts to get through it all. Recall that Grooveshark has two interactive ends: on one end, users are invited to upload music files; on the other end, those music files are streamed to users on demand. This means there are two separate opportunities for infringement. On top of that, Grooveshark relies on a complex defense, the DMCA safe-harbor.
In this post, we’ll analyze the “uploading content” end of Grooveshark’s service. In the next post, we’ll look at the “streaming” end. And in the post after that, we’ll examine its DMCA safe-harbor defense.
Right off the bat, we know that Grooveshark isn’t subject to direct liability for the “uploading content” end of its service. That’s because Grooveshark isn’t doing the uploading; its users are. But if you needed an example for…Read More»