Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is apparently allowed to change its mind within a few days, and it has done so in regards to the Grooveshark music-sharing app. The app, was reinstated into the Google Play store earlier this week, has now disappeared again as of Friday morning. Google had pulled the plug on the app more than a year ago due to legal troubles, then a recent New York state court decision seemed to prompt Google to reinstate the app, only for the company to change its mind three days later.
Neither Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) nor Grooveshark have commented as of yet regarding Google’s change of heart, but it may be due to ongoing legal issues regarding Grooveshark, which is accused of illegally copying copyrighted music and providing it to users of the app.
We reported here Tuesday that Grooveshark had won a state court battle against a major recording label that had claimed copyright infringement, and in the wake of that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) seemed to be OK with reinstating the app, which was pulled in April 2011 due to similar copyright infringement claims by major labels. But Grooveshark’s parent company, Empire Media, is still facing a federal lawsuit from four large music labels. Grooveshark is a music-sharing service, which allows users to upload and share songs in their collections with other users. The record labels are charging copyright infringement because they allege that several employees of Grooveshark were uploading “thousands” of songs to the service.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) removed the app from its Android operating system several months after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did the same from its iOS system – but Apple has not reinstated the app since it removed it in the summer of 2010.
Grooveshark offers a free, ad-supported service from its web site, but the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android app costs $6-$9 a month depending on the package purchased.