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Facebook bans Grooveshark over copyright complaint

Despite an official statement that the recent disappearance of their Facebook page – and sudden disabling of Facebook logins to their own app – was the result of an “error,” it turns out that Grooveshark has been officially banned from the social networking site after it received a complaint about copyright infringement by the music service. Of course, considering that Grooveshark is facing litigation from all four major US music labels, that last part isn’t too hard to believe.

Facebook disabled login authorizations using Facebook accounts on Grooveshark’s official site and app without notice Mayday weekend, prompting a post on the official Grooveshark blog suggesting that both app integration and their Facebook page “were disabled in error,” with the company “working hard to fix the problem as quickly as possible so you can get back to enjoying your music.” This week, however, Facebook responded with a very simple confirmation that there had been no error whatsoever, telling Digital Music News that the company “removed the Grooveshark app due to a copyright infringement complaint we received.”

This is just the latest in a series of unfortunate developments for the streaming music service, but not necessarily the most surprising. Grooveshark – which describes itself as “the world’s largest on-demand and music discovery service” with over 15 million songs and 30 million members – is currently involved in litigation with EMI, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group for copyright-related reasons and, in EMI’s case, non-payment of royalties for music streamed on the service. With that in mind, the idea that someone would complain to Facebook about the service suddenly seems not just more likely, but also more surprising that it hadn’t happened sooner.

For its part, Grooveshark updated its blog today with an update explaining the current situation. “We have confirmed that the Grooveshark Page and App outage on Facebook was due to a copyright takedown request issued by a foreign entity,” the blog read, taking care not to give clues to the foreign entity’s identity but adding that “we are working with Facebook to reactivate the Grooveshark Page and App in accordance with their process.” Rather than looking at this as the unfortunate, embarrassing situation that some might see it is, the blog attempts to look on the bright side, noting that “this incident has created an even stronger line of communication and cooperation between our two companies” while pointing out that “the total impact of the removal of our Facebook app thus far has been minimal, with less than a 1% impact in overall traffic to Grooveshark from this outage.” See? No big deal at all! Having the world’s biggest social media site cut you off because of copyright troubles that reminds everyone that you’re being sued by all four of the major music labels is a good thing, right? Right…?

Why does this sort of thing never happen to Spotify…?

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