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Labels Sue Pandora

RIAA-organized suit alleges N.Y. state copyright violations for pre-1972 songs

First SiriusXM, now Pandora. Several major record labels have sued Pandora, alleging the streaming music service has violated New York common law copyright protections by using recordings made before 1972 without permission.

Songs recorded before 1972 are not under federal copyright, however Sony, Universal and Warner Music, and independent label ABKCO tell the State Supreme Court in Manhattan that Pandora should get permission to use them under state law, reports the New York Times.

The labels allege that Pandora “violates New York law and engages in common law copyright infringement and misappropriation and unfair competition,” according to the account.

“Just because Buddy and the other ’50s musicians recorded songs before 1972 doesn’t mean their songs have no value,” said María Elena Holly, the widow of Buddy Holly, in a statement circulated by the Recording Industry Association of America, which coordinated the suit.

Pandora told the Times the company is confident in its legal position and looks forward to a quick resolution.

The case is similar to one the same record labels filed against SiriusXM last September in California, we reported.