In Practice: Escape From NY - The Turtles, Grooveshark and Pre-1972 Recordings

By Jeremiah Burke and Julie Greer, Originally published in The Recorder

Does the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act apply to pre-1972 sound recordings? The Turtles are betting $100 million that they don’t.

Flo & Eddie, Inc., whose principals Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan have been performing together as The Turtles since 1965, brought a putative class action in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Sirius XM Radio Inc., alleging the satellite radio service is misappropriating such classic tunes as “Happy Together” and “It Ain’t Me Babe.” Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., Case No. BC 517032 (Aug. 1, 2013). Flo & Eddie Inc. owns The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings and has brought the putative class action on behalf of the “owners of Pre-1972 Recordings reproduced, performed, distributed or otherwise exploited by defendants in California without a license or authorization to do so during the period from Aug. 1, 2009 to the present.”

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