California Judge Hands Satcasters And Webcasters Another Loss Over Paying To Play Pre-1972 Songs
October 16, 2014 at 3:55 AM (PT)
A CALIFORNIA state judge, MARY STROBEL, has handed down a major legal victory in the expanding campaign to secure compensation for pre-1972 recordings from services like SIRIUSXM and PANDORA.
Last FALL, a group of independent and major record labels sued SIRIUSXM in CALIFORNIA state court for using songs recorded before 1972 -- including standards from the 40s and 50s, rock and roll from the 50s and 60s, and MOTOWN music -- without paying the artists and rights holders royalties.
STROBEL granted the plaintiffs’ motion for jury instruction, ruling that CALIFORNIA law “must be interpreted to recognize ... public performance rights in pre-1972 sound recordings.”
RIAA CEO CARY SHERMAN commented, “Two courts have now handed down landmark decisions which confirm what should be obvious -- the pioneers of rock and roll and every other genre before 1972 deserve to be compensated when their music is used by companies like SIRIUSXM. It’s increasingly clear that SIRIUSXM, PANDORA and other digital music firms who refuse to pay legacy artists and rights holders are on the wrong side of history and the law. It’s time for that to change.”