There's no copyright on recordings made before 1972 in America. Except now there is, as a judge in California has told Sirius that it needs to pay when it plays such recordings.
Sirius aren't happy:
SiriusXM disagreed. "I think everybody should get paid, and I think everybody should pay," David Frear, the company's chief financial officer, said during a banking conference, as quoted in the New York Times. "But to get there, there needs to be a change in the laws. And it shouldn’t be coming from the bench. It should be coming from the legislature."You might wonder if David Frear really wants to pay everyone why he chose not to pay everyone, but instead fought a legal case to stop paying anyone. 'I really want to pay but think there ought to be a law compelling me to pay' isn't a coherent position.
The record companies - who, rather than musicians, will pocket most of the cash - are happy:
"It's increasingly clear that SiriusXM, Pandora and other digital music firms who refuse to pay legacy artists and rights holders are on the wrong side of history and the law," Cary Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, which represents the labels, said in a statement. "It's time for that to change."The RIAA are charmers, aren't they? Every time a business finds a way to help them hold onto revenue streams in the 21st Century, rather than work with them, they're there, demanding more and effectively calling those businesses crooks.
If Sherman was ever in an accident and needed a transfusion, you suspect he'd be demanding to know where the blood taken from him was and why he wasn't getting the usual donation fee for it.