LOS ANGELES – Josh Greenberg, co-founder and chief technical officer of legally embattled music-streaming site Grooveshark, was found dead Sunday evening in his Gainesville, Fla., home, according to police.
Greenberg did not have any health problems and police said there was no evidence of foul play or drugs, his mother, Lori Greenberg, told the Gainesville Sun. In a tweet Monday, the Gainesville Police Dept. said there was “no evidence of foul play or suicide” in his death.
Josh Greenberg formed Grooveshark in 2006 with Sam Tarantino when they were students at U. of Florida. It shut down operations this April after the company lost a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed by major record labels and reached a settlement with the industry.
“Despite the best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes,” they wrote on the website. “We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.”
Grooveshark’s parent company, Escape Media Group, agreed to pay US$ 75 million to labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group if Grooveshark violated the terms of the settlement.
Grooveshark’s service let users upload songs and made them available to other users to stream. The startup had deals with some record companies for rights to their music but was sued by the three major labels, which said Grooveshark’s founders had personally uploaded to the site almost 6,000 songs they didn’t have the rights to and urged employees to do so as well. In September 2014, a U.S. federal district court ruled against Grooveshark, which claimed to have more than 40 million users at the peak of its popularity.
At the time of his death, Greenberg was listed as a co-founder and board member of TapShield, a Florida startup whose system lets users alert emergency responders about crimes or suspicious activity from their mobile phones.