- Sony, Universal, Warner Music, and indie label ABKCO are suing Pandora (P +1%) for allegedly violating New York's common-law copyright protections by not paying recording royalties on songs recorded before Feb. 15, 1972.
- The songs in question include works from popular acts such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. They aren't covered by federal copyright law, but the labels argue state law takes precedent.
- Pandora's recording royalty payments to SoundExchange for songs made after Feb. 1972 account for the lion's share of its licensing costs. The company recently claimed (while explaining a subscription fee hike) the rate it pays SoundExchange has risen 53% over the last 5 years, and is set to rise another 9% in 2015.
- How times have changed: U.S. copyright law originally provided protection for only 14 years, with the right to renew for another 14 if the original copyright holder is still alive.
From other sites
Video at CNBC.com (May 15, 2015)
Video at CNBC.com (Mar 23, 2015)
at CNBC.com (Feb 5, 2015)
at CNBC.com (Jan 7, 2015)
at CNBC.com (Jan 6, 2015)
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