The music streaming application Grooveshark is available again for Android devices 16 months after it was removed by Google from its application market.
Grooveshark, which is run by Escape Media Group based in Gainsville, Florida, has had a rocky time with mobile application stores. Apple pulled Grooveshark from its App Store in August 2010 just days after it launched due to copyright-related complaints.
The company issued a statement saying that it had worked with Google in order to be reinstated.
Grooveshark allows users to upload their own music, which can be streamed by other users. The company says it has obtained licenses from more than 1,000 record labels and distributed the works of 25,000 independent artists.
But the major music labels haven't been happy. Grooveshark is being sued by labels including Universal Music Group Recordings, Warner Bros. Records and Sony Music Entertainment. The companies filed an amended copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Dec. 15.
The labels allege Grooveshark does not have a license or authorization for many of the works offered on the website. It also accuses Escape Media's senior management of padding its catalog by illegally uploading "thousands of infringing song recordings to the Grooveshark website and have instructed their employees to do the same," according to the complaint.
On its website, Grooveshark's policy says that "users are responsible for ensuring they have the right to make uploaded sound files available." The company maintains it will quickly remove infringing content if it is notified properly.
"If a user's account is repeatedly associated with infringing material, that user's 'upload privileges' will be revoked," according to Grooveshark.
Grooveshark offers a free service with advertising. Advertisement-free subscriptions cost US$6 a month and $9 a month for a mobile device subscription.
Although Apple removed Grooveshark from its App Store, the mobile application can still be used on jailbroken iPhones, or those that have been modified to run applications not approved by Apple. The company also offers a suite of tools for artists to track user engagement with their music as well as advertising.
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