Judge rules against the Turtles’ involvement in Sirius/RIAA settlement

siriusxm logo canvasAnother chapter in the saga between Sirius XM and Flo & Eddie has unfolded and potentially concluded. Following the satellite radio company’s settlement with the RIAA for $210 million in royalties for playing songs recorded before federal copyright law took effect, the former Turtles members tried to argue that the settlement would impede its class action efforts against Sirius. The duo made an effort to change the settlement payout, but yesterday received a ruling that the deal with the RIAA did not impact Flo & Eddie’s class action efforts.

The RIAA’s legal team argued that its Sirius deal only covered recordings owned by the three major labels and ABKCO, none of which apply to The Turtles. They said the class action from Flo & Eddie would include recordings with other others.

Judge Philip Gutierrez, who has been hearing much of the California suits against Sirius XM regarding pre-1972 copyright law, determined that the Turtles’ requests for a change in the RIAA settlement were unwarranted. He also raised concerns about the timing of the request. His decision suggested that the Flo & Eddie’s lawyers at Gradstein & Marzano “did not care to enjoin the settlement payment or seek to recover a portion of it until G&M learned the size of the settlement.” Ouch.

Anna Washenko