The Turtles Launch $25 Million Lawsuit Against Pandora

pandora-logoAfter last week’s victory over SiriusXM, Flo & Eddie of band The Turtles are waging a new lawsuit against Pandora, which has 200 million registered users. According to Billboard, Flo & Eddie filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Thursday, Oct. 2. The duo seeks approximately $25 million.

“Pandora understands that having a vast range and array of music is critical to the success of any music service which is why pre-1972 recordings constitute a significant part of the Music Service,” says the lawsuit. “Pandora is aware that it does not have any license, right, or authority to reproduce, perform, distribute or otherwise exploit via the Music Service any pre-1972 recordings (including The Turtles’ Recordings),” alleges the complaint.

Pandora states that it pays out publishing royalties for all music plays, including pre-1972 music. This means that songwriters are compensated, but not necessarily performers of the songs. Pandora claims its platform aids in elongating artists’ careers, but says it would lend its support to “the full federalization of Pre-72 sound recordings under a technology-neutral approach that affords libraries, music services and consumers the same rights and responsibilities that are enjoyed with respect to all other sound recordings.”

The Turtles’ recently won lawsuit against SiriusXM involved $100 million in damages. Flo & Eddie claimed SiriusXM did not seek authorization (and did not pay royalties) to play songs including “Happy Together,” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and other Turtles hits.

Meanwhile, the RIAA is going against Pandora in a separate lawsuit involving pre-1972 music. The RIAA lawsuit is happening in New York, while the Flo & Eddie lawsuit is taking place in California, a state where the plaintiffs hope to use the recent precedent on public performance rights to their advantage.

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at jnicholson@musicrow.com.

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