The judicial trend in cases about the copyright pre-1972 recordings has swung decidedly in the favor of artists. In August, Judge Mary Strobel issued a tentative ruling in support of Sirius XM in its legal defense against major record labels. However, on Tuesday she ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, securing compensation for the labels for the public performance of pre-1972 recordings.
According to Strobel’s ruling, she said that her interpretation of the California law was that the only limitation on ownership rights for pre-1972 recordings was in recording covers of those songs. She did note that it was possible that Sirius XM’s use of those recordings was not hindering sales, and could in fact be giving them a boost through extra exposure.
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