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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Streaming Service Targeted By Anti-Piracy Group

After Danish largest Internet service providers had received a court order to block access to The Pirate Bay, the country wasn’t satisfied with the result and went further. Now the American-based streaming music service Grooveshark is targeted by the anti-piracy outfit RettighedsAlliancen.

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The anti-piracy outfit has sent a notice to the country’s court, where it pleads to order Denmark’s broadband providers to cut off access to the site. It explains that if someone wants to offer music on the local market, they must sign an agreement with copyright owners. Meanwhile, Grooveshark streaming service doesn’t have any and is very uncooperative.

Within the past several years such legitimate services as Spotify are more likely to be used by the country’s Internet users, and the government agrees that they must get aid to be able to operate. Anti-piracy outfit pointed out that online music market is still developing, and it should be supported by officials. However, if Grooveshark continues, the market may suffer. Of course, the industry that has been doing business in the same way over the last twenty years will be threatened by any innovation. In respond, Grooveshark argues that it complies with the DMCA and therefore can’t be targeted as a rogue service – basically, YouTube is doing the same thing.

At the same time, the country’s copyright owners argue that taking down infringed content without closing down this streaming service is inefficient and actually impossible. But they somehow overlooked the fact that the service has been licensed by many record labels, including EMI. Although Grooveshark reacts to takedown notices, the industry doesn’t consider it good enough – it wants complete control. Of course, after Spotify, partially owned by a number of record companies, was launched in the country, the time came to get rid of the competition.

It seems that Denmark is becoming less neutral and free, i.e. turning into a censoring state, just like Syria and China, which are effectively destroying the web. Fortunately, the country is currently using only DNS-blocking, which can be circumvented without much effort. In addition, if the country applies the same logic throughout the web, it would have to block Facebook and YouTube for hosting potentially infringing content until notified.

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