Grooveshark’s 28 year-old co-founder Josh Greenberg was found dead last night in his Gainesville, FL apartment. According to The Gainesville Sun, there was “no evidence of foul play, injuries, or drugs.” Both his mother and his girlfriend were shocked, as Greenberg had no known health problems and was looking forward to starting new projects.
Greenberg’s tragic death came just two-and-a-half months after Grooveshark was forced to cease operations due to copyright infringement at the end of April. In a settlement with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, the company “[wiped] its computer servers of all the record companies’ music, surrendering ownership of its website, mobile apps and intellectual property” according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).”
Greenberg launched the service with co-founder Sam Tarantino when they were freshmen at the University of Florida in 2006. A precursor to Spotify, Apple Music and others, the free music streaming service had an estimated 40 million monthly users and 145 employees in Gainesville, Florida and New York City in its prime. Universal Music first sued the company in 2010 in a copyright infringement lawsuit. The service was shut down after facing up to $736 million in statutory damages.
Although Grooveshark had legal troubles throughout its ten year reign, Greenberg was well-respected in both the tech and music industries. He was named a member of Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 for music in 2012 and 2013, and one of America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs by Businessweek in 2008.
His mother told The Gainesville Sun that he was more “relieved than depressed” about the recent settlement. “He was excited about potential new things that he was going to start,” said his mother. A medical examiner performed an autopsy today. We will keep you updated with further developments.