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SUPREME COURT TO SPIN FLO & EDDIE CASE

Flo & Eddie are heading to the California Supreme Court to see if they and other artists whose work was released prior to 1972 can get paid when their songs are broadcast digitally.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal washed their hands of the case on Wednesday, sending it to the state’s Supreme Court because “resolution of these questions will likely affect the state and industries within the state in a variety of ways, and is therefore best left to the California Supreme Court."

Flo (Mark Volman) and Eddie (Howard Kaylan), who led The Turtles in the 1960s, brought class action suits against Pandora and Sirius XM to be compensated for the airing of their work. Federal copyright law draws a line at 1972, which has made this a state issue. Other suits have made their way through courts in New York and Florida.

Although there are no performing rights within copyright law that affects terrestrial radio, the court’s decision will likely affect terrestrial radio as well.

Flo & Eddie are fighting for digital performing right compensation. Since there was no performing right law on the books for pre-1972 recordings played on AM and FM, radio services have argued there should not be a payment when songs are played on digital services.

 

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