Sheridans Sue iHeartMedia, SiriusXM, Pandora In Illinois And New Jersey; CBS Moves To Strike In California Case
October 21, 2015 at 6:34 PM (PT)
On the heels of dismissing their putative class action suit against iHEARTMEDIA in ILLINOIS over pre-1972 copyright royalty claims, music rights owners ARTHUR and BARBARA SHERIDAN have refiled the case in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of ILLINOIS, filed a similar claim in the same court against SIRIUSXM RADIO and PANDORA MEDIA, and, according to the NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL, have also filed suits over the issue in NEW JERSEY against the same three defendants.
The SHERIDANS, ILLINOIS residents and the owners of master recordings of several pre-1972 songs by THE FLAMINGOS, THE MOONGLOWS, T-BONE WALKER, JIMMY REED and others, previously sued iHEARTMEDIA in U.S District Court in CALIFORNIA and GEORGIA over the same claims, and sued SIRIUSXM RADIO and PANDORA MEDIA in NEW YORK law for their claims.
CBS Defense: We Played Digital Reissues, Not Pre-1972 Recordings
Meanwhile, CBS RADIO is taking an aggressive defensive posture in the SHERIDANS' suit (as ABS ENTERTAINMENT INC.) in CALIFORNIA District Court, filing an anti-SLAPP Special Motion moving for an order to strike each cause of action in the suit, asserting that CBS did not play pre-1972 recordings but instead "played only post-1972 re-issued or re-mastered recordings, which are governed exclusively by federal copyright law and thus beyond the reach of CALIFORNIA law. Under federal law, CBS has the right to perform post-1972 recordings on terrestrial radio without payment and to play them on digital platforms under a statutory compulsory license." CBS' argument is that the common law in CALIFORNIA bans unauthorized copying, but after a recording has been commercially released, "the protection ends."