SiriusXM Sued For Not Paying Royalties on Any Music Made Prior to 1972

SoundExchange, an organization that collects royalties for artists, has sued SiriusXM who refuses to pay any money for recording made prior to 1972.

The new suit makes the recent action by Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of the Turtles much more clear. When we first wrote about their story on August 2, a number of readers responded negatively towards the pair, implying that it was just a money-making scheme.  What wasn't clear at that time is that SiriusXM have taken the position that they don't owe royalties on ANY recording made prior to February 15, 1972 due to a federal statutory license. 

That means that whenever one of their stations plays the Beatles or the early Stones or the majority of Frank Sinatra or a myriad of other artists, there are no royalties paid for the performance. SoundExchange estimates that the artists who recorded prior to that date have lost between $50 and $100 million in income. 

Michael Huppe, president and CEO of SoundExchange, said in a statement "iriusXM is knowingly withholding royalties from the creators who bring life to their service, even as the company continues to experience unprecedented and explosive growth. We cannot sit by and watch this multi-billion dollar company reap record profits from the creative contributions of artists and labels without paying them everything they deserve."

Thanks to Roger Friedman at Showbiz411 for bringing this issue to our attention. To see the complete filing, go to the SoundExchange site.

1 comment

Anonymous said...

I hope that Sound Exchange wins the suit. These performers deserve to be paid for their music. The chowder heads who attacked The Turtles for demanding to be paid should be ashamed of themselves. How would they like to not be paid for their work? Sirius/XM stinks!

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