Veteran rockers Flo & Eddie have won a major battle for royalties from bosses at satellite radio provider Sirius XM. The duo, aka Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, launched a legal action last year (13), accusing radio executives of infringing on copyrights by broadcasting and streaming songs recorded before 1972 without paying compensation.
U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez issued a summary judgement in the pair's favour in California on Monday (22Sep14) when the defendants failed to dispute the accusations.
He declared, "Flo & Eddie has the right to possess and use its sound recordings and prevent others from possessing and using them."
The ruling is significant because tracks recorded before 1972 are not covered by America's federal copyright law. The win for the rockers means satellite radio and other music streaming providers could face increased costs in future if they decide to add classic songs to their digital libraries.
The plaintiffs' attorney Harvey Geller tells the Wall Street Journal, "It's a huge win. These older artists rely on royalties to survive. They're not getting record sales anymore."
Kaylan and Volman, who were also founding members of 1960s rock band The Turtles, are pursuing similar cases against Sirius in New York and Florida, and Geller hopes the California victory will prompt radio bosses to settle up sooner rather than later.
Geller adds, "You really only have to win in one state, hopefully, for Sirius to get the message."