Sirius Must Pay to Play Classic Tunes, Federal Judge Rules

September 24, 2014 3:11 AM

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Sirius Must Pay to Play Classic Tunes, Federal Judge Rules

So said a federal judge on Tuesday who ruled that Sirius XM Radio Inc. must pay royalties to the founding members of the ’60s sunshine pop band “The Turtles” for playing their songs, a decision that could make it more expensive for satellite-radio broadcasters and Internet radio companies to feature classic tunes.

The case centered on the question of whether an ambiguously worded state law created royalty obligations for satellite and Internet radio companies that play music made before 1972. While federal copyright law covers post-1972 recordings, Congress left it up to states to set their own copyright rule...

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