Music To Your Ears: The Echo Nest Joins Forces With Nuance’s Intelligent Voice Technology

Music labels sue SiriusXM over unpaid royalties on oldies The lawsuit accuses the satellite radio company of not paying royalties for music it plays that was recorded before 1972 when federal protections kicked in. The Four Tops are just one of the bands seeking unpaid royalties from SiriusXM. (Credit: CBS) The music industry is turning up the volume in its battle against digital broadcasters with a lawsuit that accuses SiriusXM of not paying royalties on music recorded before 1972. Major labels Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group Recordings, along with indie label ABKCO, sued the satellite radio company in a California court on Wednesday. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, notes that “a significant portion of SiriusXM’s channels feature classic sound recordings, including channels exclusively devoted to performing recordings from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.” Related stories PS Vita TV is Sony’s new spin on streaming Before sound recordings came under federal copyright protection in 1972, music copyrights were overseen by the individual states. So instead of being filed in a federal court, the lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in California, a state that had music rights protections in place before Congress extended copyright eligibility to sound recordings. “Classic tracks recorded before 1972 are an important part of American culture and an important of SiriusXM’s programming,” Dionne Warwick said in a statement provided by the Recording Industry of America, the organization that represents the music industry’s interests. “The great artists played on the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s stations should be treated with respect and properly compensated as SiriusXM is required to do, so I am asking SiriusXM not to ‘Walk On By’ and do the right thing!” A SiriusXM representative declined to comment on the lawsuit. The lawsuit is the third filed against SiriusXM in recent weeks. SoundExchange, which collects royalties on behalf of recording artists, filed a lawsuit in August that claimed the satellite radio company “systematically underpaid” royalties from 2007 to 2011. The ’60s rock band The Turtles filed a class action lawsuit in early August that seeks $100 million in damages. Topics:

The recorded music industry has shriveled in the last decade as sales have shifted to digital forms, only recently reaching the point that recorded music’s overall trade value worldwide has ceased a more than 10-year slide. Most of the credit for the stabilization is due to physical sales finally reaching their nadir, while growth in digital sales continues. Meanwhile, entrants into online radio have been encroaching on traditional radio’s turf — and driving up the costs and unpredictability of royalties in the meantime. Though AM/FM still commands the lion’s share of the radio audience, traditional broadcasters have largely sat on the sidelines as upstart digital services have taken the lead in delivering innovative radio products with new technology. The coming launch next week of iTunes Radio, Apple’s online radio service linked to its iTunes program with an installed base of more than 575 million customers worldwide , will bring the same player that upended the sale of recorded music into the realm of radio. Warner Music, however, has been one of the more progressive of the major labels to seize upon digital opportunities lately. It was the first label to strike a deal with Apple for iTunes Radio , and it reportedly was a vanguard in working with Google’s YouTube in its development of a streaming music service . Labels have also taken a contentious route to protect royalties in the digital age. This week, labels including Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group — though not Warner Music — sued satellite radio operator Sirius XM , accusing it of not paying royalties on music recorded before 1972. Thursday’s Clear Channel pact will include special programs using the radio operator’s digital footprint, including its digital simulcast, digital-only stations, and custom stations, as well as special audio and video content, programming, and promotions. It will also launch targeted online interfaces so consumers can easily buy Warner’s music as it plays.

Clear Channel, Warner Music cozy up in broadcast, online promotion deal

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