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Rumor Fact(ory): Pandora may be near pre-1972 copyright settlement

The legal battles over royalties for songs recorded prior to 1972 have been an ongoing headache for labels and streaming services alike. Pandora has been the subject of a couple legal forays in this regard, including one lawsuit filed by recording companies in New York State Supreme Court. The New York Post has reported that Pandora may be on the brink of a settlement to end that case. Continue Reading

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David Oxenford: Understanding the Murky State of the Performance Right in Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

by David Oxenford

the legal issues around pre-1972 music royalty disputes are complex, tangled by conflicting federal and state regulations. State-court lawsuits in New York and California have favored plaintiffs seeking royalties from Pandora and Sirius XM, but a recent decision in Florida went the other way. Broadcast law attorney David Oxenford untangles. Continue Reading

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Sirius XM gets a win from Florida judge in Turtles pre-1972 copyright lawsuit

Sirius XM was on a big losing streak in its series of lawsuits filed by Flo & Eddie, the company representing members of The Turtles. Flo & Eddie has sued Sirius XM in three states for its public performance of the band’s songs recorded prior to 1972 when federal copyright law took effect. While the suits in New York and California have been favoring the case made by Flo & Eddie, Sirius XM just got a win in Florida. Continue Reading

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Sirius XM now facing class action over pre-1972 royalties in California

U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez has approved class action status for Flo & Eddie’s lawsuit against Sirius XM. The new class action certification means that other artists whose music was recorded before the advent of federal copyright law can join the lawsuit to seek damages. Sirius XM had argued that it would be difficult to calculate damages for the different artists joining the suit, but was unable to convince the judge. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM wins appeal review from 2nd Circuit on pre-1972 copyright case

SiriusXM and Flo & Eddie, the company representing 60s band the Turtles, have been playing legal ping pong over the copyright for songs that were recorded prior to 1972, the date when federal copyright law took effect. The latest salvo comes from the satellite radio company, which has successfully petitioned the 2nd Circuit court to receive a review of the decisions handed down in the New York case by Judge Colleen McMahon. Continue Reading

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Sirius XM wins right to appeal in New York for pre-1972 copyright suit

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon has granted Sirius XM the right to appeal its New York lawsuit over royalties for pre-1972 recordings. McMahon wrote that she granted appeal permission because of “a critically important controlling question of law” and uncertainty about whether Sirius XM had fair use to make temporary copies of the music. She determined that the case “warrants a close look by a controlling court.” Continue Reading

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Proposed class actions could hit Beats, Rdio, Google, and more with pre-1972 copyright judgments

On Thursday, Zenbu Magazines filed multiple proposed class-action lawsuits against several streaming services seeking to collect royalties on music recorded before 1972. The company targeted Beats Electronics, Sony Entertainment, Google, Rdio, Songza, Slacker, and Escape Media Group (which owns Grooveshark) in the complaints. Continue Reading