April 6, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Grooveshark is gone from the Android Market. The popular music streaming service was removed from the Market yesterday because it violates Google’s terms of service. The exact terms were not revealed, but CNET notes that Grooveshark’s ongoing dispute with record companies over music streaming – and Google lawyer Kent Walker testifying before the U.S. House Judiciary committee on copyright violations – may have had something to do with Grooveshark’s removal.
If Grooveshark truly was removed for copyright violations, should Amazon Cloud users be nervous? You may recall my excitement about the just-launched Amazon Cloud Player, but record labels were far from thrilled because Amazon released the product without their permission. Labels argue that purchasing music gives users the right to listen to their locally-stored media; streaming music over-the-air is a different service that requires a license (read: more money).
Record labels made the same argument against Grooveshark, which allows paid members to upload their own music collection and stream it to their desktops or Android phones. You can also listen to some files shared by others, which led to Universal Music Group filing suit against Grooveshark on grounds that the service supports music piracy.
Amazon currently supports streaming of music purchased through an Amazon MP3 account or uploaded to your personal Amazon Cloud account, so there is a difference between the two services. However, record labels are still upset about the lack of licensing agreements and are discussing a strategy of how to force Amazon to pay them money or face legal actions. Similar predicaments have reportedly led to months-long delays of Google Music and a Spotify launch in the U.S. If Google is pressured to remove apps deemed to violate copyright, Android phones may have less options for music streaming.