Sirius suffers major Turtle bite


GavelThe Central District Court of California has found in favor of Turtles frontmen Flo and Eddie in their attempt to get airplay royalties from satcaster Sirius XM thus far denied artists responsible for pre-1972 recorded material.

The case was heard by Judge Philip Gutierez, who found that Flo and Eddie had been harmed by Sirius for playing some 15 titles without their permission.

Although Sirius is safe from royalties under federal law, that is not necessarily the case when state law is considered, and in California a royalty liability for pre-1972 tunes was ruled to exist.

This clearly impacts a lot of the material commonly heard on classic rock formatted channels and just about all of the material on a traditional oldies channel.

The ruling sets up a number of possible repercussions, starting with an appeal by Sirius XM. There are many other things to consider, of course, including a line comprised of Turtles contemporaries and priors also seeking cash, as well as lines potentially formed at online platforms such as Pandora.

Stay tuned.