Feeds

Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties

Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972

The essential guide to IT transformation

Online radio service Pandora is being sued by a group of record labels seeking payout for songs released more than four decades ago.

The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) said that a number of its member labels, both major and independent, are seeking to recoup money from the streaming music giant for its use of songs recorded before 1972.

According to the RIAA, recordings made prior to 1972 were not covered by the federal copyright law that now applies to music. As such, Pandora and other broadcasters could not be sued on a federal level for royalties not paid. Instead, the labels are filing suit in a New York State court which does cover the classic recordings.

As such, the RIAA said that music services are able to offer songs from the 1950s and 1960s without paying the labels according to federal law – but that's why the Ass. members are taking their case to the state court.

"Pandora's refusal to pay Plaintiffs for its use of [Pre-72] recordings is fundamentally unfair," the companies said in their complaint. "Pandora's conduct also is unfair to the recording artists and musicians whose performances are embodied in Pre-72 Recordings, but who do not get paid for Pandora's exploitation of Pre-72 Recordings."

The record labels filed a similar suit in last year in California against satellite radio provider Sirius XM over royalty claims.

A Pandora spokesperson told The Reg, "Pandora is confident in its legal position and looks forward to a quick resolution of this matter."

Pandora has long been at odds with the record labels over the matter of licensing costs. The company said that rising royalty costs were behind a price-hike it imposed earlier this year on the paid Pandora streaming service.

Last year, the company was the target of criticism from Brit rock legends Pink Floyd over its efforts to reduce payouts to artists. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?