Sad news came out of Gainesville Florida yesterday as it was reported that Grooveshark co-founder, Joshua Greenberg was found dead in his home. He was just 28. Although details aren't forthcoming Gainseville police don't suspect foul play or suicide. Toxicology reports are not expected for another two months.
Greenberg was co-founder and pioneer of the music streaming service Grooveshark. Founded in 2006, Grooveshark's "play any song in the world for free," mantra fit in well with Silicon Valley's permissionless innovation crowd. But after a lengthy lawsuit by UMG, Warner and Sony it was determined in a federal court that Grooveshark never secured music licenses for a vast majority of those songs. To avoid a multi-million dollar lawsuit, Grooveshark's parent company, Escape Media settled with the record labels. Part of the settlement, as it still reads in a statement on Grooveshark's home page, was erasing their copyrighted works, and hand over ownership of the site and mobile apps, IP, patents and copyrights. Near the end of the statement, was a sentence that was a seeming change of tune after ten years: "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."
As of note to the Ad community in Southern California, Grooveshark was also one of the judges of L.A.'s battle of the bands, AdJam, held by ThinkLA back in 2013.