A recent lawsuit could result in a financial win for artists who produced music prior to 1972. U.S. law provides no meaningful copyright protection for songs produced before 1972, but protection under specific state laws could force satellite and internet radio providers to pay up for playing these classic tunes.
Companies like SiriusXM radio and Pandora Internet radio dole out plenty of payments for licensing fees to cover playing popular modern songs, but both hadn’t been paying up for the pre ’72 recordings. A recent lawsuit victory by popular ‘60’s rockers the Turtles for playing their music without permission could turn the tables on these companies and deliver more funds into the hands of the artists responsible for the music.
The Turtles lawsuit against SiriusXM was worth $100 million and the band has the wheels in motion on another suit, this time against Pandora Internet Radio, for $25 million. The fact that the Turtles have already been successful in a strikingly similar lawsuit bodes very well for the band when it comes to the new lawsuit. This should also bode very well for any other band or artist who is interested in collecting their due for pre 1972 recorded music that is currently being played via satellite and internet music sources.
Third party companies or individuals are not allowed to use your protected material for profit without your permission. Unfortunately there are some very confusing elements when it comes to federal and state copyright laws and things like “fair use.”
If you feel as though someone else is using your art, your likeness or your protected materials to profit without your permission you need to seek legal help immediately. An experienced California attorney can quickly determine if a third party is in violation of your rights and work to seek an injunction that will make them cease and desist. Your attorney will also fight to help you get any damages you might be entitled to as a result of copyright infringement.