Bloomberg Law
Oct. 26, 2017, 5:15 PM

Turtles Lose Florida Battle for Oldies Royalties

Anandashankar Mazumdar
Anandashankar Mazumdar
Senior Legal Editor

The Turtles can’t get royalties from Sirius XM Radio Inc. for broadcasting “Happy Together” and their other 1960s-era recordings to Florida listeners, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Oct. 26 (Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., Fla., No. SC16-1161, 10/26/17).

Recordings made before 1972 aren’t protected by federal copyright law, so only composers or songwriters—not recording artists who performed on a record—are compensated when oldies are played by services such as Sirius XM or Pandora Media Inc.

The Florida court rejected the argument that a criminal record piracy statute, which bars unauthorized reproduction and distribution ...

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