It seems as if Grooveshark is proving too good to be true. Free streaming of over 6 million tracks without being interrupted by ads always felt as if you were doing something wrong.
Apple certainly felt this way when it pulled the Grooveshark app from its App Store last August and now it seems as if Google is looking on things the same way. Last weekend, the Grooveshark app was pulled from the Android Market without warning and it is not happy. â€œGoogle notified us on Saturday that it had removed our app from the Market,â€ Groovesharkâ€™s Ben Westermann-Clark told Wired.com, â€œbut frankly, weâ€™re baffled by this. Weâ€™re always compliant with DMCA regulations to make sure that we operate within the law and respect the wishes of content owners.â€
Grooveshark went on to issue an official statement which questions Googleâ€™s apparent open ecosystem: â€œUnlike Appleâ€™s iPhone ecosystem, Android is an open platform, and Google is traditionally a supporter of DMCA-compliant services â€“ indeed, Google itself relies on the DMCA for the very same protection that Grooveshark does.â€ It turns out that Google, just like Apple last year, has received a letter of complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) but Grooveshark is still in the dark over what â€œin the developersâ€™ terms of service, exactly, we need to address to be readmitted to the marketplace.â€
While Google can certainly claim that compared to Apple, its Market is pretty open, we've recently seen a few issues surrounding this ecosystem. Last month we saw Google remove 21 apps from the store and remotely remove those apps from customersâ€™ mobile phones in a bid to eliminate malicious software. However, other, more cynical commentators have raised the point that this could be a move by Google to prepare the way for its own streaming service, which we got a glimpse of yesterday.
Are you a Grooveshark user whoâ€™s been affected by this action? Let us know what you think in the comments.