Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Turtles Sue SiriusXM For $100 Mil

The Turtles image
If you're like me and like to occasionally sample some of the songs of the 50s, 60s, and 70s on SiriusXM, you may soon find that option no longer available thanks to a $100 million class-action lawsuit brought about by the 60s band The Turtles.

The Turtles had a number of big hits back then that get regular airplay on the Sirius 60s On 6 channel like "Happy Together," "It Ain't Me Babe," and "She'd Rather Be With Me," but the band feels that SiriusXM has not paid adequate royalties on these and thousands of other songs that date before 1972.

On February 15, 1972 all recordings began being protected by paragraph 114 of the Copyright Act, which provides limitations on exclusive rights and spells out the way that artist's are compensated. Unfortunately the law is somewhat murky on what happens with songs before that point, and The Turtles (Flo & Eddie - Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) feel that Sirius has overstepped their bounds in that regard.

While millions of dollars are a big part of the picture, what might be even bigger is that the suit also seeks an injunction to prohibit any pre-1972 songs to be played on SiriusXM until the suit is settled. That would be a shame, since it sure is fun to hear some of the old songs.

Just for the record, Mark Volman is now an associate professor and director of the entertainment industry studies program at Belmont University, where I have spoken at in the past.

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