Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Music News Site Asks for Help Fending Off Music Service

Quick update on the weird story of Grooveshark versus Digital Music News. The publisher of the music news site says he needs help fending off the music service’s legal challenge.

The backstory is here, but here’s the short-as-possible version: Grooveshark, a music service fighting lawsuits filed by the big music labels, is going after Digital Music News. The trade site had published anonymous comments accusing Grooveshark of deliberately violating copyright law.

Grooveshark says it needs information about the commenter — like the person’s IP address, etc. — so it can defend itself in its own lawsuit against the music labels.

But as Digital Music News publisher Paul Resnikoff points out in a post, this contradicts what Grooveshark has been telling the court in its battle against Universal Music Group, which is that the comments in question shouldn’t constitute evidence.

Confusing, yes? Even shorter version: Resnikoff says he can’t and won’t comply with Grooveshark’s subpoenas. But he is worried about how he’ll mount a legal defense. “We are a very small company and need the help,” he writes. “We are actively soliciting amici curiae and even pro bono litigation assistance in this matter.”

Meanwhile, an honest question: Does Google know that its ads are running on Grooveshark? If it does, does that mean it thinks the site is legal?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik