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Sirius/XM, Capitol Settle

Pre-1972 music subject of $210 million settlement

The lawsuit by Capitol Records against satellite radiocaster Sirius/XM concerning pre-1972 music, which is not covered under standard royalty schemes, has been settled.

According to a release from the Recording Industry Association of America, and early news stories based on that release, the litigants have settled for a lump sum of $210 million to cover the playing of music recorded before 1972. Music from 1972 and afterwards is covered by conventional royalty schedules.

The settlement also covers several other interested record companies such as ABKCO Music & Records, Sony Entertainment, UMG Recordings and Warner Music Group.

RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said, “This is a great step forward for all music creators … Music has tremendous value, whether it was made in 1970 or 2015. We hope others take note of this important agreement and follow Sirius XM’s example.” That last part was in reference to audio streamers such as Pandora, who were not part of the agreement and some face their own lawsuits over pre-1972 music.

According to a report in Variety, Sirius/XM said in the settlement filing, “The settlement resolves all past claims as to our use of pre-1972 recordings owned or controlled by the plaintiffs and enables us, without any additional payment, to reproduce, perform and broadcast such recordings in the United States through December 31, 2017.”