Song owners who filed class action litigation against CBS over so-called pre-1972 recordings are heading to the Ninth Circuit to challenge a novel ruling last month that “remastered” versions of old tracks played over the airwaves aren't even pre-1972 songs in the first place.
A California federal judge on Tuesday tossed out a class action claiming CBS must start paying royalties for so-called pre-1972 recordings it plays on the radio, siding with the company’s novel argument that “remastered” versions of old tracks aren’t even pre-1972 songs in the first place.
Radio giant iHeartMedia Inc. sided with CBS Corp. in the latter’s defense against rights holders over pre-1972 song royalties, telling a California federal judge that certain “remastered” versions of the old songs are indeed eligible for copyright under federal law.
Rights holders suing CBS Radio over pre-1972 songs urged a federal judge Monday to reject the novel defense that “remastered” songs weren’t technically recorded before 1972, warning that such a rule would “extend copyright protection indefinitely.”
CBS is asking judges in California and New York to toss out lawsuits seeking royalties for pre-1972 songs, doubling down on the argument that the “remastered” versions it plays on the radio aren’t even pre-1972 songs in the first place.
A California federal judge ruled Wednesday that rights owners who want CBS Corp. and Cumulus Media Inc. to start paying royalties for pre-1972 records had failed to follow the rules in attempting to certify the cases as class actions, striking both the certification bid and class allegations from the litigation.
A trio of cases accusing CBS Corp., Cumulus Media Inc. and iHeartMedia Inc. of avoiding royalties for songs recorded before 1972 won’t be heard by the same judge who issued a major ruling against Sirius XM Radio Inc. in another suit over older music, according to an order Thursday.
Armed with one of the lawyers who took on Sirius XM Radio Inc. in three federal courts, the owner of music by Al Green and other artists accused CBS Corp., Cumulus Media Inc. and iHeartMedia Inc. of cheating musicians out of royalties for their older songs, according to three California class actions filed Monday.