SiriusXM Will Pay Record Companies $210 Million Over Pre-1972 Songs
June 26, 2015 at 7:09 AM (PT)
The record industry just won a huge settlement from SIRIUSXM in its suit for the satellite radio company's use of recordings created before 1972. SIRIUSXM will pay $210 million to plaintiffs ABKCO MUSIC & RECORDS, CAPITOL RECORDS, SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and WARNER MUSIC GROUP for its use of recordings from before 1972 after settling the case of CAPITOL RECORDS LLC et al vs SIRIUSXM RADIO INC.
“This is a great step forward for all music creators,” said RIAA Chairman/CEO CARY SHERMAN. “Music has tremendous value, whether it was made in 1970 or 2015. We hope others take note of this important agreement and follow SIRIUSXM’s example.”
The lawsuit came after a class action filed by THE TURTLES' FLO & EDDIE, citing CALIFORNIA state misappropriation laws -- common law copyrights -- to win compensation over the use of sound recordings made before falling under federal copyright protection. For years, record labels accepted promotion in lieu of royalties from terrestrial broadcasters, but changes in how music is consumed have led to a shifting of priorities.
Sound recording owners have gone to court over the issue in CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK and FLORIDA, and RIAA members were bolstered by a favorable interpretation of the law in OCTOBER 2014.
The deal provides for a license through the end of 2017, after which SIRIUSXM will have to negotiate with the record labels on future compensation. The settlement doesn't settle the class action lawsuits filed by FLO & EDDIE, who await review by the 2nd CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS to see if their prior, favorable rulings are upheld. The agreement announced today also doesn't deal with if and how the major record labels will divvy up the proceeds with its artists.