In our exclusive interview with Grooveshark CEO and co-founder Sam Tarantino a couple of weeks ago, he listed no fewer than eight reasons why music should be free — and why his company should be the one to make it that way.
For now, despite lawsuits from all four major labels, Grooveshark continues to distribute free music without permission by obeying the part of the copyright law the DMCA that says everything’s okay so long as you delete user-uploaded songs that infringe copyright when notified. Some say Grooveshark is exploiting a loophole in the law, while others like the way it delivers so much music for free.
Facebook — the partner of just about every licensed competitor of Grooveshark — which is getting its ducks in a row to go public with an IPO soon, might have finally drawn a line in the sand where Grooveshark is concerned. Not only have Grooveshark’s official page and app been deleted from Facebook, but it is no longer possible to “scrobble” what you’re playing on Grooveshark to your Facebook Timeline, or log in to Grooveshark.com using your Facebook identity.
Facebook is also missing from Grooveshark’s list of options for account connection. You can still connect Grooveshark to Twitter, Last.fm, and Google Plus.
Evolver.fm has confirmed that it’s still possible to share Grooveshark songs to Facebook manually (screenshot to the right). Other than that, Grooveshark appears to have been locked out entirely from the world’s most popular social network.
That’s not good news for Grooveshark, given that Facebook has been proven to boost traffic to music services. Facebook is not alone in giving Grooveshark the cold shoulder, either. Grooveshark’s mobile apps were unceremoniously booted from both iTunes and Google Play (although you can still use Grooveshark on both thanks to the cross-platform magic of HTML5).
Grooveshark claims Facebook deleted its page and app, and severed its log-in integration “in error” — either by mistake (which would be surprising, given the number of ways in which Facebook has dissed Grooveshark), or wrongly (as in for a false reason):
“Grooveshark’s Facebook app integration and our Facebook page were disabled by Facebook [last] Saturday afternoon,” reads the blog post, which has yet to be updated. “We believe they were disabled in error and we are in communication with Facebook to try to understand exactly what’s going on, so we hope to see a resolution to these problems soon.”
Over a week later, Facebook’s block on Grooveshark is still in place, and neither side appears to be talking about why. Evolver.fm has asked both companies to explain what is going on here, and will post an update as soon as we hear back (stay tuned).
Update 2:28pm ET: “I don’t have an update beyond what’s on the blog posting,” said Grooveshark spokeswoman Danika Azzarelli. ”We continue to work with Facebook to reinstate the Grooveshark page and expect it to be back up shortly.” (So at the very least, Grooveshark’s Facebook page could be coming back, but perhaps not the sharing integration.)
Update 5/8/12: Facebook never returned our email (hey, thanks!), but Digital Music News, which followed up on our article, managed to confirm what we already knew: Facebook blocked Grooveshark. In addition to a link to our story ; ) Digital Music News missed the fact that Facebook not only disallows Grooveshark from allowing people to log in using Facebook, but also disabled sharing and even deleted Grooveshark’s official page on Facebook.
Update 5/17/12: Grooveshark says that so far, it’s traffic has been impacted by less than one percent following Facebook’s removal of its app, which was due to some sort of “copyright takedown request issued by a foreign entity.” The app is still down, meaning that you can’t sign in to Grooveshark using your Facebook ID, and listening cannot be automatically shared to Facebook. However, Facebook has reinstated Grooveshark’s Facebook page.
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