SiriusXM gets more bad news

November 2014

Broadcasting, recorded music


SiriusXM have had some more bad news: A California federal judge had already delivered a “legal earthquake”by finding that SiriusXM had violated the claimant’s (sixties band the Turtles)  pre-1972 master copyrights by playing their music without licensing it or paying performance royalties and now another fesderal judge who had indicated some support for SiriusXM’s decision has now had a change of heart and now is minded to follow the Carifornian court.  Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel is presiding over a similar case brought by Capitol Records and other record industry giants; Judge Strobel had previously expressed her inclination to reject proposed jury instructions offered by the record companies, but now she had a change of heart by granting what the record companies were seeking. “Plaintiffs ask the court to take judicial notice of the order granting summary judgment in Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Siruis XM Radio, Inc,” she writes. “While a federal trial court opinion is not binding on this court, the court finds the logic applied in that order interpreting Civil Code §980 to be persuasive.”

A new bill in Congress to apply federal protection for per-1972 sound recordings, called the Respect Act, has garnered support from musicians including the Allman Brothers, Al Green, Melissa Etheridge, and Rosanne Cash with Cash saying “These legacy artists that built American music are not being paid. They’re all aging, if they’re still alive. Some are sick [so] they can’t make up for the lack of royalty income by touring. It’s a serious problem.”

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