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California Top Court Ruling in Oldies Case Will Be Pivotal

May 31, 2017, 9:21 PM

California’s top court could set the stage for a series of losses for owners of rights in oldies records or spawn a patchwork of varying state laws that would require congressional action to remedy, according to copyright lawyers and scholars who spoke with Bloomberg BNA.

A vast catalog of oldies records are not governed by federal copyright law and owners of rights in the Turtles’ 1960s hits have been going to state courts to fight for royalties from digital music services under each state’s law. They’re now taking their case to the California Supreme Court.

Records were not protected under...

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