updated 02:30 pm EDT, Wed April 6, 2011
Google removes Grooveshark from Android Market
Google has quietly dropped Grooveshark's mobile app from Android Market. Insiders said Wednesday that music labels had pushed Google into action under claims that the search-and-play service was breaking copyright law. The company issued a non-response to CNET that said it pulled apps that "violated our policies" without directly attaching the claim to Grooveshark or mentioning labels.
Its timing is convenient as Google is being asked to testify in an investigation of how companies like itself might be profiting indirectly from piracy. Some industry figures have accused Google of knowingly letting pirates run AdSense and AdWords ads that not only help steer users to music and movie rips but generate ad revenue.
Grooveshark has usually operated in a gray area. It lets users post songs to share them with others. While it ostensibly would be to allow for homemade tracks, the company has typically had only light monitoring and started licensing EMI's music in 2009 only after the label filed a lawsuit.
Apple was more proactive and pulled Grooveshark in August.