It’s suddenly legal deja vu all over again:
Another legal defeat for SiriusXM, a win for Flo & Eddie
SiriusXM has received another adverse ruling for its unauthorized public performance and reproduction of The Turtles sound recordings, and specifically their ever-popular and hit song “Happy Together.” As mentioned in a previous post, the two artists of the Turtles, Flo & Eddie, sued Sirius in California and were grated summary judgment. Then, last week a federal judge in New York also denied Sirius XM’s motion for summary judgment in a second lawsuit brought by Flo & Eddie, who are suing in different states because state laws protect sound recording authored before 1972. The rulings suggest that pre-1972 sound recordings include an exclusive right to publicly perform the song, so the artist has the say if these services such as SiriusXM or Pandora want to stream their music.
Ninth Circuit to reconsider ‘Innocence’ ruling en banc
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has agreed to meet en banc to reconsider an earlier, 2-1 decision involving the now-infamous Innocence of Muslims movie. As an earlier post describes, the appellate decision ordering Google to yank all copies of the film, including from YouTube, was greeted with legal consternation. Yes, the film itself proved to be a notorious, and some say blasphemous, mess, linked to mass protests globally and the deaths of several dozen people. But actress Cindy Lee Garcia got a twin surprise — she asserted she was duped into starring in the film, then, to the shock of many legal analysts, the appellate court found that an actor’s fixed performance may be copyrighted if it meets a minimum level of creativity and rejected the possibility that Garcia’s performance was a work for hire. The case has attracted sufficient attention so that the Ninth Circuit not only is reconsidering the matter, it also has created a special web page for those tracking this case.
Appellate court will re-review artists’ rights case en banc
And while the judges in the Ninth were in the mood or mind: The appellate court also has agreed to meet en banc to reconsider a case that has the art community abuzz. It’s all complicated and involves fees that artists under state law are entitled to collect on resale of their works. There are some big names involved, including the art auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and the estates of Sam Francis, a renowned California abstract painter and printmaker, and Robert Graham, a California sculptor. Whether the so-called droit de suite allowed under California law is enforceable outside the Golden State, got the appellate judges in a twist that led to legal appeals and the reconsideration.