Pre-1972 Music Now Larger Part of Debate



Lawmakers in Congress will have more to consider during the next music licensing hearings.

Lawsuits related to pre-1972 music copyrights have been filed on both coasts. ABS Entertainment has filed suits against CBS Radio, iHeartMedia and Cumulus in New York, alleging unpaid royalties.

ABS filed on behalf of artists and labels that released music before 1972, asking for millions in royalties and that the stations stop airing the music.

The company has filed similar suits in California. The latest suits are similar to litigation that Flo and Eddie of The Turtles filed against SiriusXM and Pandora in 2013.

Pre-1972 music isn’t covered under federal copyright protection; Flo and Eddie of The Turtles challenged that, filing suits in several states.

The Hollywood Reporter reports the latest litigation may stall as a federal appeals court is set to look at the issue of whether pre-1972 recording owners have public performance rights under state law.

CBS Radio told The Hollywood Reporter that CBS would “vigorously defend” itself.