Almost a year and a half ago, the Grooveshark app for Android was removed from the Google Play Store. While Google doesn’t remove apps nearly as much as Apple does – it happens when they have good reasons.
So why did they remove the app? Grooveshark’s parent, Escape Media, has been tangled up in a legal war for quite some time now, with accusations from three of the four major record label groups. Grooveshark previously allowed anyone to upload music for listening pleasure, without any regulation or license for the music played.
While Escape Media has stuck by the claim that they will work to respond to take down notices for any infringing content, Google decided to remove the app in order to prevent itself from getting caught up in the lawsuit drama.
Recently though, Grooveshark for Android has come back to Google Play. What changed Google’s minds? A recent decision in a New York suite that pitted Universal Music against Escape Media. Universal claimed that the safe harbor provisions in the DMCA didn’t apply to recordings before 1972, but the judge didn’t agree with the argument.
This is just the first of many legal entanglements ahead for Grooveshark, but the victory was enough to give Google the confidence to reinstate the Google for Android app. For iOS users though, Grooveshark remains pulled from the AppStore.
UPDATE: Man, that was short-lived. Google has yet to give official reason for why, but it seems they’ve changed their minds and removed the app from Google Play once again.