Monday, April 21
(New York, NY) -- The major record labels are once again standing up for oldies artists -- and themselves -- in court. "The New York Times" says Sony, Warner, Universal, and ABKCO have teamed up in a lawsuit against streaming music service Pandora, claiming the outlet has been playing songs recorded before 1972 without authorization. This material is not protected under federal copyright laws, but the labels are arguing that they're still covered under state law. In their lawsuit, the companies claim Pandora "appropriates plaintiffs' valuable and unique property" in violation of New York's copyright laws. The four labels launched a similar suit against Sirius XM Radio last year.
The late Buddy Holly's widow, Maria Elena Holly, is supporting the suit. She explains that simply because her husband and others recorded music before 1972, that "doesn't mean their songs have no value." She adds that Sirius and Pandora's "failure to pay the rock 'n' roll pioneers is an injustice" that "needs to change." The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Dylan are among the many artists specifically mentioned in the lawsuit.