Pre-1972 music royalties ruling goes against SiriusXM


Do digital radio services in the US have to pay royalties for recordings released before 1972? Yes, they do, according to a summary judgement handed down yesterday by US district judge Philip Gutierrez.

The ruling came in a case between Flo & Eddie of The Turtles and satellite radio provider SiriusXM, which has been closely followed by artists, songwriters, rightsholders and digital services alike.

As things stand, SiriusXM has been found in violation of public performance rights by not paying royalties for pre-1972 tracks, although the plaintiffs in this case must still prove that it violates reproduction rights by “copying recordings on servers and through on-demand offerings” in Billboard’s words.

Stuart Dredge

Read More: Analysis News
One response
  • “… the real villain here is outdated copyright legislation that, when you step back and remove yourself from the heated emotions of the debate, is failing both the creators of music, and the digital services distributing it.”

    So true. The US Congress needs to amend the Federal copyright laws to resolve the issue by extending protection to performers of pre-1972 sound recordings. But the details will involve a struggle between competing music and tech interests. Only a cynic would suggest that Congress will move slowly to extract maximum political contributions from all sides. I’ll go with the cynics.

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