After being abandoned by half of the music industry and sued by the rest, free music streaming site Grooveshark is finally dead.
Grooveshark was a website with a library of streaming music content that could be accessed and played without an account from practically any device.
Naturally, the free nature of the site got on the nerves of music industry types. Music labels withdrew their support for the site, before others took the course of suing Grooveshark in 2012. After that, the service's slow death procession began. Today it was officially laid to rest by its operators.
Grooveshark told its users in a message on its website that it had to shut itself down as part of a settlement with the record industry. That settlement also includes handing over all patents, intellectual property and ownership of the URL for the site.
The site's operators confessed that they had added music to the site without acquiring the proper licenses and apologised for their actions. They said that the site was started before the world had music streaming services like Spotify and Rdio, and did what they did to bring a better streaming experience to the people.
Here's the full message from Grooveshark's now dead 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 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 apologise. Without reservation.
As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies' copyrighted works and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including all our patents and copyrights.
At the 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
Farewell, old friend.