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SiriusXM Faces Class Action Over Pre-1972 Music

California judge certifies performance rights suit

A judge has certified a class action suit against SiriusXM involving performance royalties for pre-1972 music.

Since performance royalties for all classes of radio are under scrutiny, the case is being closely watched.

Pre-1972 songs are not covered under federal copyright law governing performance royalties; that’s why some groups are turning to state courts.

The ’60s group The Turtles alleged copyright infringement against SiriusXM and filed suits in in California, New York and Florida, we’ve reported.

In September, U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled that under California state law, the satellite radio company was liable for copyright infringement by airing the Turtles pre-1972 songs without paying royalties, we reported at the time.

Now, Judge Gutierrez is allowing a class action suit to proceed. That may involve groups besides the Turtles, reports Reuters, which notes SiriusXM fought the move. The satcaster had no comment on the development, according to the account.