It’s getting worse for SiriusXM in the ongoing strife over pre-1972 music.
Last month, a California judge granted summary judgment to Flo & Eddie of The Turtles who alleged that the satellite radio giant was misappropriating their songs without authorization and compensation. The judge decided that ownership of sound recordings authored before 1972 — before federal copyright law began covering recorded music — included the exclusive right to publicly perform the recording.
The decision has now swayed another judge who was presiding over a similar case brought by Capitol Records and other record industry giants.
SiriusXM Copyright Battle: What Does the Latest Ruling Mean for Digital Music?
The lawsuit spearheaded by the RIAA on the other hand could have less difficulty on the damages issue as the plaintiffs control some of the most iconic recordings in rock music history made by artists like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Supremes and Bob Dylan. On the other hand, this case isn’t over either. The plaintiffs here haven’t even officially won on the issue of whether SiriusXM is liable. The plaintiffs fast-forwarded to the jury instructions, but SiriusXM still might have affirmative defenses to assert. Plus, Sirius could appeal as it has already indicated it will do in the Turtles case.
UPDATE: RIAA CEO Cary Sherman released this statement about the ruling:
“Two courts have now handed down landmark decisions which confirm what should be obvious — the pioneers of rock and roll and every other genre before 1972 deserve to be compensated when their music is used by companies like SiriusXM. It’s increasingly clear that SiriusXM, Pandora and other digital music firms who refuse to pay legacy artists and rights holders are on the wrong side of history and the law. It’s time for that to change.”
This article originally appeared in THR.com.