SiriusXM Tells Court Turtles Are Playing 'Lawsuit Lottery' With Pre-1972 Royalty Claims
October 16, 2013 at 4:50 AM (PT)
SIRIUSXM RADIO's motion asking for a lawsuit filed against it by MARK VOLMAN and HOWARD KAYLAN -- a.k.a FLO AND EDDIE and THE TURTLES -- over royalties includes the satellite company's assertion that state law does not require royalty payments for pre-1972 recordings and the allegation that the plaintiffs are filing suits in multiple jurisdictions to play "a form of lawsuit lottery in search of an elusive new state-law right that would radically overturn decades of settled practice."
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reports that SIRIUSXM filed the motion last week to move a suit filed in CALIFORNIA to NEW YORK and asserts that the plaintiffs have "apparently ... become aggrieved by the distinction drawn by CONGRESS in withholding copyright protection from its Pre-1972 Recordings; thus now, after decades of inaction while a wide variety of music users, including radio and television broadcasters, bars, restaurants and website operators, exploited those Pre-1972 Recordings countless millions of times without paying fees, it asserts a purported right under the law of various states to be compensated by SIRIUSXM for comparable unlicensed uses."
The plaintiffs have filed similar suits in NEW YORK and FLORIDA, and SONY, UNIVERSAL and WARNER MUSIC have also sued asserting similar causes of action, claiming misappropriation under state law.