Are oldies-but-goodies freebies?
New York’s highest court is wading into the copyright dispute between the owner of The Turtles’ 1967 hit “Happy Together” and Sirius XM Radio
The New York Court of Appeals has agreed to hear a case about whether state common law created royalty obligations for satellite and Internet radio companies that play music made before 1972, reports the Associated Press.
While federal copyright law covers post-1972 recordings, Congress left it up to states to set their own copyright rules for music released before then.
In April, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the question needed to be answered by the Court of Appeals in Albany. “This case presents a significant and unresolved issue of New York copyright law,” wrote Second Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi in the opinion.
The case is part of a broader, national copyright feud between so-called legacy artists artists and Internet radio companies such as Sirius and Pandora Media. The founders of the Turtles rock band have filed similar lawsuits in California and Florida, alleging copyright claims based on laws in those states. Those cases are before federal appeals courts.