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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Major Record Labels Suing Pandora For Unpaid Royalties

Major record companies have filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court, accusing Pandora of violating the state's common-law copyright protections by using recordings of older songs without permission. Similar suits were filed against Sirius XM Radio last year.

According to a report on The New York Times, the legal issues arise when using recordings made before February 15, 1972, which are not subject to federal copyright protection. Using those recordings, however, requires getting permissions, something which Pandora and Sirius XM haven't been doing, the suit alleges.

In the suit, the three big labels, Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with ABKCO (an independent label that controls rights to many early songs by the Rolling Stones), accuse Pandora of playing old songs without licenses.

The suit includes a long appendix of songs by major acts from the 1940s to the early '70s like the Beatles, Hank Williams, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, James Brown, and the Rolling Stones.

In case of Sirius XM, the band the Turtles ("Happy Together") acted first, with a $100 million class-action suit, and the labels followed with their own complaint.

Read the full news piece on The New York Times.

Source: The New York Times

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