1960s Rock Band Sues Satellite Radio Company For $100 Million

The Turtles broadcasted by E! entertainment television channel. [YouTube/Screenshot - User: Turtleshappytogether]

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Members of the 1960s rock band The Turtles sued the satellite radio company Sirius XM in 2013 and the legal proceedings are set to commence on Tuesday.

The suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of the group’s founding members, claims the American broadcasting company did not get permission to play the band’s songs.

Federal law protects recordings made since 1972, but not before it. Certain states have provided more extensive copyrights that allow producers to get royalties from pre-1972 content, according to Ars Technica. (RELATED: Woman Forced To Upgrade To Windows 10 Sues Microsoft, Wins)

The Turtles say these state copyright laws apply to their case.

Standard radio isn’t compelled to pay royalties to artists if it broadcasts their songs, but satellite radio and online streaming services like Spotify are forced to.

Sirius XM agreed to pay $210 million to major record labels after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued them for illegally playing music published before 1972, reports Ars Technica. Pandora, the music streaming company, also succumbed to legal pressure from RIAA in 2015 and gave $90 million to record corporations.

The Turtles’ arguably most famous song is “Happy Together,” the classic hit from 1967.

The counsel for Sirius XM is attorney Daniel Petrocelli, the same legal representation President-Elect Donald Trump is using for his Trump University case.

The latest reports Monday night show that Sirius XM and The Turtles may be close to a settlement.

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