While Federal copyright law protects all master recordings created after 1972, record labels have long maintained that individual state laws protect their ownership and are asking the California Superior Court for a ruling that will "vindicate their valuable rights.
SoundExchange Seeks Up to $100 million From SiriusXM for Underpaying Artist Royalties
As part of the lawsuit, the labels are asking for damages and punitive damages, as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from infringing on the label's pre-1972 master recordings.
In a statement supplied by the RIAA, songwriter/guitarist Steve Cropper said, "It's an outrage that SiriusXM, a multi-billion [dollar] company making a big profit based partly on the popularity of its oldies channels is refusing to pay any artists like me one penny. That's not right and that needs to be changed."
SiriusXM declined Billboard.biz's request for a comment on the lawsuit. The claim was filed on behalf of the labels by the firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Krupp LLP.