Sirius XM loses another ruling in California litigation about digital performance of pre-1972 recordings.
As I reported in September, Sirius XM (and, by extension, just about any other provider of streamed digital music) suffered a setback in a Federal District Court in California when the judge there ruled that performers have an exclusive public performance right to music they recorded prior to February 15, 1972. As it turns out, the news got worse for Sirius XM a couple of weeks later, when a California State Superior Court judge came down largely the same way.
As a result, Sirius XM, Pandora and other such services will likely be looking at a lot more liability for infringements as more pre-1972 artists join in the class action suit started by Flo and Eddie in California. While the outcome of the California end of that litigation doesn’t seem to be in much doubt – which is bad news for Sirius XM et al. – the chances of similar outcomes in other states is still up in the air, at least for the moment. Also up in the air: possible Congressional reaction.
For background on the issue of digital performance rights for pre-February, 1972 recordings, check out my earlier post about the Flo and Eddie case.
The more recent case doesn’t involve iconic individuals (like Flo and Eddie) as plaintiffs; it involves iconic record labels as plaintiffs.Continue Reading...