On Feb. 15, 1972, federal copyright protection started applying to recordings. The record labels are suing Sirius, claiming that it is using recording from before 1972 without permission. While the recordings aren’t protected according to federal law, the lawsuit claims that they are still protected by state law. The suit is seeking unspecified damages as well as a declaratory judgment regarding the rights for recordings before 1972. The lawsuit could also affect other music-streaming services, such as Pandora (P), reports The New York Times.
“SiriusXM is using my grandfather’s music to attract millions of subscribers and broadcasting his recordings for free,” Nicole Cooke, granddaughter of Sam Cooke, told The Hollywood Reporter. ”SiriusXM has been enjoying record profits at the expense of artists like my grandfather for too long.”