Sirius may have to pay up for pre-1972 songs under state copyright

18 11 2014

Songs recorded before 1972 aren’t protected by federal copyright. Recently, though, some older bands have started looking for royalty payments based on the patchwork of state copyright laws.

1960s rock band The Turtles sued Sirius XM seeking payments for use of their songs. If the band is successful in its lawsuit, it could open the door to lawsuits against online streaming media over older song titles. Pandora was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America earlier this year and last month by The Turtles.

On Friday, the band had a breakthrough in its case. US District Judge Colleen McMahon said that unless a factual issue requiring a trial comes up by December 5, she intends to rule in favor of The Turtles and against Sirius, according to a Reuters report.

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