Justia Copyright Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in New York Court of Appeals
Flo & Eddie, Inc. v Sirius XM Radio, Inc.
Plaintiff was a corporation owned by two of the original members of The Turtles, a band most famous for its song “Happy Together.” Plaintiff controlled the master recordings of approximately 100 Turtles songs recorded before 1972. Defendant, the nation’s largest satellite digital radio service, broadcast pre-1972 Turtles songs but did not have licenses with the performers or sound recording copyright-holders and did not pay them for broadcasts. Plaintiff commenced this federal putative class action alleging common-law copyright infringement and unfair competition. The federal district court denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that New York common law includes a right to control public performances of pre-1972 copyrighted sound recordings. The court of appeals certified a question to the Court of Appeals regarding an unresolved issue of New York copyright law. The Court of Appeals answered that New York common-law copyright does not recognize a right of public performance for creators of sound recordings. View "Flo & Eddie, Inc. v Sirius XM Radio, Inc." on Justia Law