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Pandora loses freedom of speech defense in copyright lawsuit

Pandora cube canvas 160wFlo & Eddie, representing The Turtles, have been cutting a legal swath through audio publishers of late. Most of its lawsuits have focused on Sirius XM, but Pandora was also on the receiving end of a suit seeking royalties and damages for playing songs recorded prior in 1972 when U.S. federal copyright law took effect.

Pandora tried to stave off the suit in December by filing an anti-SLAPP motion. This centered around protecting the company from a legal action for exercising its freedom of speech. Today, California Judge Philip S Gutierrez denied the SLAPP action, ruling that the claims made by Flo & Eddie were worthy enough to go to court. Pandora has said it will look up the legal ladder to reverse the decision. “Pandora intends to immediately appeal this ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where we are confident our legal position will be affirmed,” the company said in a statement.

Anna Washenko

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