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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grooveshark Will Disclose Anonymous Commenter

Recently the world knew how Grooveshark was being sued by Universal Music label for copyright violation. The core witness of the record label against the online service is an anonymous person who claimed to be working for the company in the past. This anonymous guy has posted a comment, saying that Grooveshark was knowingly facilitating copyright violation. As a result, the music industry went as far as filing a lawsuit against the service.

Now it seems that finding out the identity of this unknown tipster is not only a matter of curiosity, but rather the matter of credibility. Surprisingly enough, the online service itself is going to obtain a subpoena in order to reveal the identity of this “witness”. Grooveshark’s legal counsel Marshall Custer is currently holding negotiations with Digital Music News, explaining that while the service’s parent company Escape Media Group denies those allegations brought by the music industry and believes that Universal’s lawsuit has absolutely no merit, they still acknowledge that the anonymous comment in the publication of Digital Music News, as well as all related information, may be very important to the case.

That’s why Grooveshark believes it must request that Digital Music News preserve all electronic data, along with any other records related to the comment in question, because it can be reasonably anticipated that either the plaintiffs or the defendant of the lawsuit may find it necessary to subpoena such data as the case progresses. In case the online service manages to obtain the IP address of the anonymous person, it can send a subpoena to his or her Internet service provider in attempt to establish what real person had published that comment.

Meanwhile, until this moment it seems that only the defendant solicited help for Digital Music News. Surprisingly enough, Paul Resnikoff, the founder of Digital Music News, admitted that Universal Music Group has never contacted the company regarding this comment: either before or after filing the lawsuit. It seems that the plaintiffs take all anonymous comments in the web on trust, which is weird. Universal’s lack of interest in this issue still remains unknown, but it is clear to everyone that the credibility of the anonymous “witness” may be decisive in the lawsuit.

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