Grooveshark co-founder Josh Greenberg found dead at 28

Josh Greenberg, co-founder of Grooveshark, was found dead at his home in Gainesville, Florida yesterday (July 19). He was 28.

According to local reports, police have told Greenberg’s family that they have found no immediate evidence of ‘foul play, injuries or drugs’.

Greenberg officially founded Grooveshark with Sam Tarantino in 2007.

The largely unlicensed streaming platform went on to become a scourge of anti-piracy activists in the music industry, boasting in excess of 20 million registered users.

That was until two months ago, when Greenberg and Tarantino agreed to shut the site down in a legal settlement with all three major labels.

The decision meant that the duo escaped any possible hefty fine for Grooveshark’s near-eight years of copyright infringement.

“Greenberg’s mother said her son was ‘more relieved than depressed’ about the grooveshark settlement since it ‘ended the lawsuit hanging over his head’.”

The Gainesville Sun

Speaking to the Gainesville Sun, Greenberg’s mother said her son was ‘more relieved than depressed’ about the settlement since ‘it ended the lawsuit that had been hanging over his head’.

“He was excited about potential new things that he was going to start,” she said.

A medical examiner was due to perform an autopsy on Josh Greenberg today (July 20), while toxicology results are due in two or three months.

“They are as baffled as I am,” added Lori Greenberg.

As part of their settlement with the major labels – via the RIAA – Greenberg and Tarantino effectively agreed to hand over all of Grooveshark’s assets to the music industry, and delete all copyrighted material from Grooveshark’s servers.

The duo acknowledged they would pay around $75m in damages if they ever deliberately infringed the majors’ music again.

In a joint statement, they said:

“We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes.”

Although Grooveshark failed to obtain licenses from the major labels, it did strike a few legitimate licensing deals in its time, notably with Sony/ATV – the biggest publisher in the world – as well as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.Music Business Worldwide

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