Pre-1972 Sound Recordings Could Kill the Radio Stars

November 20, 2014New York State Bar Association EASL Blog

In a posting on the New York State Bar Association's EASL Blog, Barry Werbin discusses two recent decisions unfavorable to subscription-based satellite and Internet radio services provider Sirius XM Radio in its fight with Flo & Eddie, Inc., owner of the copyrights to master recordings of 1960's rock band The Turtles. Because federal law does not protect sound recordings created prior to February 15, 1972, Flo & Eddie has filed three class actions against Sirius in California, New York, and Florida, asserting state common law copyright infringement claims (as well as claims for unfair competition, conversion, and misappropriation) under the laws of the three respective states. Barry's report examines the potentially disastrous results for Sirius and other streaming music providers, should Flo & Eddie ultimately prevail.