Grooveshark -- DRM-free P2P music -- pays uploaders

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23 Responses to “Grooveshark -- DRM-free P2P music -- pays uploaders”

  1. kravikula says:

    I think is a great idea. but as the guy above me said. You must have a good lawyer

  2. Simon Greenwood says:

    a) The phrase is ‘a la Limewire’, so they presumably have their own client/server system, not Limewire.
    b) They are picking up labels in the same way as eMusic, not illegally distributing copyrighted work.

    Well, that’s what I read anyway.

  3. andrewufl says:

    Guys, first of all, thanks Cory for supporting us with this post — your work along with Larry Lessig’s were the main pillars on which we built Grooveshark.

    Hi everyone, I’m Andrew and I work for Grooveshark ::hi Andrew:: and I apologize if my endorsement is offensive for anyone.

    That being said, I felt it necessary to respond to Tazzy’s question:

    We actually are an independently built and managed p2p network that uses similar architecture (it’s p2p) as Limewire, but by no means are we trying to dupe any of our users.

    Our community allows users to live their music through a ‘musical wikipedia’ wherein they can read, review, and edit just about everything in our site, connect with friends, and get recommendations for songs (kind of like Last.fm but you can buy the songs directly from us), and when you share songs, you can then get discounted or free songs.

    And yes, we have a good one, two, or three lawyers to help us out here.

    But the most important part of our team, in all honesty, is our community that is helping us to change the industry, for the better, member by member.

    Thanks again guys !

  4. mujadaddy says:

    Secondly, we have all legal aspects covered. While I of course cannot delve too much into this, our system is perfectly legitimate and set to shake things up a bit.

    Glad to hear it! Good luck, Grooveshark!

  5. Simon Greenwood says:

    Answering myself:

    a) Yes, yes they do.
    b) It does look like the p2p system *could* be abused from what they say on the site – a user could point the client at their iTunes Library if they wanted. Hmm, they probably had better be careful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So what happens if the encoding is of a bad quality (like re-encoding music with a lower bit rate)?

    The problem with this, is that when people get payed to deliver goods, there will be frauds. Someone might upload a Madonna song, and claim that it is Mariliy Manson. Is there a built in system to protect those who buy fake songs?

    A better solution would be someting like iTunes combined with p2p. You download parts of the song from the store, and the rest of it is downloaded from the users. The users get paid based on bits/second rate or something, and each part of the file is checked against a central hash database (like Bittorrent)

  7. jbonnain says:

    Simon is pretty much on the money in regards to the stated concerns.

    We have filters in place which will restrict music files to a minimum of 128 kbps. This, of course, isn’t the only option for our members. We’ll scale from your everyday, typical mp3 file (128 kbps-320kbps and beyond) on up to OGG and FLAC files. Of course, there will be no “premium” for this higher quality of sound, as you’ve seen on other channels of distribution. These tracks will remain 99 cents. In that regard– and as far as quality assurance goes– there is nothing to worry about.

    Secondly, we have all legal aspects covered. While I of course cannot delve too much into this, our system is perfectly legitimate and set to shake things up a bit.

    I hope this clears everything up. If you have any other questions or concerns, I’ll be happy to field them. Cheers!

  8. Stacyj says:

    Sounds like a really great idea. I hope it takes off.

  9. DragonDrop says:

    The agreements appear to be with American groups only (ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC). What about the rest of the world? Are we restricted from accessing Grooveshark?

  10. batmonkey says:

    I’ll definitely go check out the service – it sounds like what I’ve been waiting for…the artist gets their dosh, the users don’t get hassled by The Industry, and rabid collectors willing to spend the time ripping to a service get a potential reward.

    Good luck – I’ll do my part to spread the word after I check it out this evening.

  11. Rodney says:

    Supports Linux. That’s a good sign.

  12. Eris Siva says:

    Wooo! This seems like an awesome idea. Sent my application in immediately.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to know exactly why this is somehow going to attract people (and labels for that matter) if they’re splitting the profit from purchased P2P downloads with the artist and the sharer.

    Either the labels are taking a drastic, drastic cut in profit, or the cost of the tracks is going to be significantly higher than on other services.

    Why would a label agree to this?

    What am I not getting here?

  14. andreshb says:

    @DragonDrop

    We want to strive to have music from all over the world available to anyone on the world. So if you don’t live in the U.S. you will still be able to use grooveshark and share music with anyone, regardless of geographical location.

    http://www.grooveshark.com/faq/

    Andres B.
    (co-founder)

  15. Nathan says:

    In response to Anon:

    “So what happens if the encoding is of a bad quality (like re-encoding music with a lower bit rate)?”

    Encoding won’t be an issue, as bitrates are clearly displayed.

    “The problem with this, is that when people get payed to deliver goods, there will be frauds. Someone might upload a Madonna song, and claim that it is Mariliy Manson. Is there a built in system to protect those who buy fake songs?”

    You can stream all songs in their entirety on Grooveshark free of charge. If you like what you hear, you can buy the song. This way you’ll never accidentally download the wrong song. In fact you can even tell which version of a song you want.

    I’m a little disheartened that you are so quick to judge without taking a closer look. As great as iTunes has been, it has not solved the music industry’s problems. Keep in mind that Grooveshark is an honest attempt by a group of college students to change the music industry for the better. We all enjoy music, and we’d like to see a system that benefits the industry as whole (Yes that includes the artists, labels and consumers).

    We are, and will remain, our own biggest critics.

    Feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

    -Nathan Thompson
    (nathan.thompson@grooveshark.com)

  16. Nathan says:

    In response to (#17) Anon:

    The labels love the idea for this very, very simple reason: the great majority of the files that show up in Grooveshark were previously being shared illegally. Once they enter Grooveshark, all downloads of those exact same files from within the system will generate revenue where previously no revenue existed.

    This definitely shouldn’t be viewed in terms of ANY sort of a “cut in profit”, because the original revenue that the labels were receiving was exactly zero.

    As for splitting the profit with the user, here’s how that part works: the labels usually have a set rate that they use with most digital music services, such as iTunes, Rhapsody, or even Grooveshark. That part is what they want, and that’s what they get. From there, *we* split our profit, 50/50, with the users. The only people who are paying out of their pockets to the users are us.

    -Nathan Thompson
    (nathan.thompson@grooveshark.com)

  17. sprivitera says:

    Correspondance between Ben, from Grooveshark and I: http://seansrant.com/from-0-to-30-in-6-hrs-hello-there-gainesville-fl/

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wow,

    For a small group of college students trying to change the music industry you sure do have a lot of employees that all look to be under 25. Who’s dad is bank rolling this bad boy?

  19. Vrogy says:

    @All

    As far as legal issues are concerned, we actually are keeping an escrow account for the major record labels and any other labels we do not currently have on board. This is exactly like the movie industry and we are told by our lawyers that this is the way to go.

  20. Draconum says:

    If I was furthur in my IT degree, already had my label set up, and lived in Florida, I’d absolutely love to work for you guys, but sadly that all might be a little ways a way.

    Quite honestly this is the VERY FIRST TIME I have seen a music distribution model that I had absolutely no reservations about. Fucking bravo :)

  21. tazzy531 says:

    So basically they are piggybacking off of LimeWire and charging people that don’t know that they can get it for free (illegally).

    Problem I see with this is that the record agencies would want quality control on the tracks that they release.

  22. mujadaddy says:

    You guys might want to get a copyright lawyer on-staff, as soon as possible.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The grapevine (which is mostly me, who knows a guy who knows a guy who once ate lunch with Sam) says that they do have lawyers, label deals and basically everything you need not to get sued into oblivion.

    They’re basically free streaming with the option to buy over p2p. Not a terrible deal.

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