This message was posted on their website.
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 [the] 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”
Long-term visitors to this site will recall Grooveshark infringed King Crimson’s copyright numerous times. In 2011 DGM began issuing take-down notices. Grooveshark would remove the material which would then mysteriously pop up a day later and the process would start again. Nothing to do with us, they would claim and so it would go on...
Robert Fripp diary 17th August 2011
Robert Fripp dairy 12th September 2011
After the correspondence between DGM and Grooveshark appeared in the pages of Digital Music News, a whistleblower who worked at Grooveshark came forward in the comments section:
I work for Grooveshark. Here is some information from the trenches:
We are assigned a predetermined ammount of weekly uploads to the system and get a small extra bonus if we manage to go above that (not easy).The assignments are assumed as direct orders from the top to the bottom, we don’t just volunteer to "enhance" the Grooveshark database.
All search results are monitored and when something is tagged as "not available", it get’s queued up to our lists for upload. You have to visualize the database in two general sections: "known" stuff and "undiscovered/indie/underground". The "known" stuff is taken care internally by uploads. Only for the "undiscovered" stuff are the users involved as explained in some posts above. Practically speaking, there is not much need for users to upload a major label album since we already take care of this on a daily basis.
Are the above legal, or ethical? Of course not. Don’t reply to give me a lecture. I know. But if the labels and their laywers can’t figure out how to stop it, then I don’t feel bad for having a job. It’s tough times.
Why am I disclosing all this? Well, I have been here a while and I don’t like the attitude that the administration has aquired against the artists. They are the enemy. They are the threat. The things that are said internally about them would make you very very angry. Interns are promised getting a foot in the music industry, only to hear these people cursing and bad mouthing the whole industry all day long, to the point where you wonder what would happen if Grooveshark get’s hacked by Anonymous one day and all the emails leak on some torrent or something.
And, to confirm the fears of the members of King Crimson, there is no way in hell you can get your stuff down. They are already tagged since you sent in your first complaint. The administration knows that you can’t afford to sue for infringement."
All of which (and more) is detailed in Robert Fripp’s diary 20th October 2011.
This post was included in the legal action taken out by UMG, Sony and Warners against Grooveshark which eventually led to the settlement announced today.