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The Turtles Fighting SiriusXM Settlement
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Flo & Eddie The Turtles

Summary: Lawyers for Flo & Eddie of The Turtles are calling the settlement between SiriusXM and Major Record Labels unfair and improper.

SiriusXM has entered into a settlement with the major record labels for $210 million over their use of sound recordings made before 1972. Flo & Eddie of The Turtles are challenging the settlement as improper. Their attorneys filed for an injunction to stop SiriusXM from paying the companies of ABKCO Music & Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, UMB Recordings, and Capitol Records.


The Turtles can be credited with getting the settlement for the pre-’72 recordings. They want the money to be put into an interest-bearing account that the court controls. The RIAA spokesperson’s response to their request was, “They rightly trumpeted the recent settlement with SiriusXM as a significant step forward. However, their application is without merit and could force the delay of long-awaited payments to artists and labels who created iconic music for generations of fans.”

Attorney Henry Gradstein for Flo & Eddie filed the first case on the issue of the public performance of pre-72 recordings not being protected under federal copyrights laws. The lawsuit became a class action in August of 2013, asking the satellite radio giant to be held responsible for misusing the recordings under California state law. The judge ruled in their favor but soon after the Recording Industry Association of America filed their own lawsuit against SiriusXM. They also received a similar ruling.

Gradstein’s biggest issue with the settlement is the fact that he was excluded from the mediation between SiriusXM’s attorneys and representatives from the major labels. He stated, “SiriusXM and the Major Labels purported to settle claims for the use of pre-1972 recordings owned by other Class members, and by doing so usurped the role of the Court and Class Counsel, fracturing the Class, destroying the leverage of the absent Class members to obtain a settlement on similar terms, and preventing Class Counsel from receiving a fee.”

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Gradstein wants to save a portion of the settlement money for his firm’s legal fees since they did all the heavy lifting. He argues that “to obtain the benefit of that work without paying it (and, thus, reaping where they have not sown), the Major Labels entered into a settlement that compensates them and excludes the Class Counsel.”




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