An impressive cadre of artists including Carole King, Carly Simon, Melissa Etheridge, Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson (the Supremes), the Isley Brothers, John Densmore (the Doors), Judy Collins and many others recently added their names to a groundbreaking legal filing in California seeking compensation for pre-1972 recordings from digital radio services like SiriusXM and Pandora.
Currently, legacy artists enjoy no federal right to be paid by digital radio services for recordings made before 1972. Artists and record labels argue that some state laws, such as those in California, do provide protections for those pre-1972 recordings. The artist listed above lent their names and voices to a powerful amicus filing in the case of Flo & Eddie (the Turtles) vs Pandora. Currently the California Supreme Court is considering whether or not a pre-’72 performance right exists in that state. The filing tells the story of California’s profound musical history and the artists that helped shape it, as told by the artists to veteran music journalist Steve Hochman (who penned the brief after many interviews). RIAA also filed a joint amicus brief in the case along with indie label trade association A2IM and indie label ABKCO.
Separately, the entire music community supports pending federal legislation, the CLASSICS Act, which would – once and for all – extend a federal performance right and compensation to those pre-1972 recordings.
The artists’ filing can be viewed here: Artist Amicus CA Supreme Court Filing