Labels Smack Pandora for Pre-’ 72 Grab

Several major labels have sued Pandora for streaming pre-1972 music without paying for it. Why would Pandora even attempt such a thing? Well, federal copyright law extends only that far back. However, copyrights can still be protected at the state level, so Vivendi, Sony, Warner, and ABKCO are suing in New York state courts. They point out that their music enables Pandora to rake in subscription fees and ad revenues, yet “it refuses to obtain required licenses or pay for its commercial and profitable exploitation of plaintiffs’ valuable property.” Pandora retorts that “the time, effort, and cost of securing such licenses could be significant,” while removing the pre-1972 music “could harm our ability to attract and retain users.”
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