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.U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles ruled in favor of the satellite radio service’s motion for summary judgement.
Gayles explained that his ruling differed from those passed down in California and New York because those states have more legislation covering arts and entertainment issues. “There is no specific Florida legislation covering sound recording property rights, nor is there a bevy of case law interpreting common law copyright related to the arts,” Gayles said. “If this Court adopts Flo & Eddie’s position, it would be creating a new property right in Florida as opposed to interpreting the law.”
This latest ruling could impact the greater arc of this ongoing legal battle. Flo & Eddie received class action status for the California lawsuit and Sirius XM’s effort for an immediate appeal of the ruling was denied. The satellite radio company can appeal in the New York suit, but the judge in that state has been siding with Flo & Eddie in most of her decisions.