ALBANY, N.Y. – New York’s highest court has heard oral arguments in a case pitting the owner of The Turtles’ 1967 hit song “Happy Together” against Sirius XM Radio.
The issue in Tuesday’s hearing was whether the copyright holders of recordings made before 1972 have a common law right to make radio stations and others pay for their use.
The lawsuit was filed by Flo & Eddie Inc., a company controlled by two founding members of the band that owns the rights to the recordings. It wants the court to say they’re entitled to royalties.
Sirius XM Radio argues it’s not required to pay royalties for recordings made before the federal Copyright Act was changed in 1972 to establish limited protections for recordings.
The case was referred to the Court of Appeals from a federal appeals court.