28-year-old Grooveshark co-founder Josh Greenberg was found dead in his home in Gainesville, Florida, early Sunday evening. Greenberg’s girlfriend, Abby Mayer, discovered him lying in bed when she returned to the couple’s house from a weekend away.
Initial reports did not find any evidence of foul play or suicide in Greenberg’s residence. According to the Gainesville Police Department, there was also no evidence of drug use or any visible injuries. Greenberg’s mother, Lori Greenberg, told Rolling Stone that her son was in good health, which leaves the public to wonder what the actual cause of Greenberg’s death was. A toxicology report will be conducted and delivered in two to three months.
Grooveshark was founded in 2006 by Greenberg, Sam Tarantino, and Andrés Barreto, while all three were freshman at the University of Florida. After getting into a disagreement with Tarantino in 2008, Barreto was permanently removed from the company.
In addition to being the co-founder of Grooveshark, Greenberg also served as the music streaming website’s Chief Technology Officer. In a matter of nine years, Greenberg and Tarantino, Grooveshark’s CEO, developed the company into a multi-million dollar enterprise with over thirty-five million monthly users. However, throughout several of these years, Greenberg and Tarantino battled multiple, billion-dollar lawsuits from companies such as Universal Music Group, EMI Music Publishing, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment, who claimed that Grooveshark possessed illegal copies of their music and did not pay the appropriate royalties. These lawsuits ultimately led to the shut down of Grooveshark on April 30, 2015. In a statement released on April 30, Grooveshark revealed, “We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation. As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all the data on our servers and hand over ownership of this website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.”
Lori Greenberg claims that Josh was not upset about the $75 million settlement Grooveshark was forced to pay to the record labels. Instead, she states that her son was excited about the new projects he was beginning to develop. As of right now, Tarantino nor Barreto have yet to make a statement about their friend and business partner’s death.