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Congress introduces legislation for pre-1972 royalties; music industry parties react

Congress is preparing to address the topic of royalties for pre-1972 recordings, a move that sparked positive response from several music industry players. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the CLASSICS Act to establish royalty payments for the creators of music recorded prior to the advent of federal copyright laws in 1972. Representatives from SoundExchange, the RIAA, and Pandora have all reacted favorably toward this proposal. Continue Reading

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iHeartRadio wins pre-1972 case in Georgia Supreme Court

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of iHeartRadio in a pre-1972 copyright lawsuit. The online audio platform was in court over the question of whether its service should be treated as a broadcast, and thus exempt from a state statute that makes it illegal to transfer sound recordings without the owner’s consent. Continue Reading

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Music Reports to administer pre-1972 license for Sirius XM

The latest development in the unfolding legal story between Sirius XM and Flo & Eddie is about the background paperwork. Music Reports has been chosen as the royalty administrator for a ten-year license for the satellite radio company’s use of Flo & Eddie’s recording catalog and other recordings from prior to 1972. Continue Reading

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New York appeals judge rules for Sirius XM in pre-1972 copyright case

Flo & Eddie’s see-saw of a legal case against Sirius XM has swung back in favor of the satellite radio company. New York appeals court Judge Leslie Stein ruled that the state’s common law does not protect public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings. Continue Reading

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DoJ announces consent decree decision: No change, plus a new rule

The U.S. Department of Justice has completed its much anticipated two-year review of consent decrees — decades-old laws which govern how ASCAP and BMI are permitted to license music on behalf of songwriters, composers, and publishers. The bottom line: No change, and a blow to the two major performing rights organizations (PROs) which have lobbied for more flexible control of rights management, especially in the streaming era. Continue Reading

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CBS wins ruling that remasters of pre-1972 songs can be played without liability

A district court has ruled that remastered songs are not necessarily subject to the same copyright laws as the originals. This development could have a big impact on the ongoing wave of litigation centered on music recorded prior to the adoption of federal copyright laws in 1972. Continue Reading