Turtles Try to Block $210 Million Copyright Infringement Settlement

The Turtles (the 1960’s band) have asked the U.S. District court to block Sirius (the satellite radio broadcaster) from making a $210 million payment to ABKCO Music & Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings and Warner Music Group to settle the ground-breaking copyright infringement lawsuit brought against them (and covered in our August 2014 Feature Article). Attorneys for the company that owns the rights to the Turtle’s music, Flo & Eddie Inc., asked the court to deposit funds into an interest-bearing account under the court's control and direction.

"We have great respect for the Turtles and the work they have done to help secure payment for pre-'72 recordings," was the comment from a spokesperson for the Recording Industry Association of America. "They rightly trumpeted the recent settlement with Sirius XM as a significant step forward. However, their application is without merit and could force the delay of long-awaited payments to artists and labels who created iconic music for generations of fans."

Flo & Eddie filed the first breakthrough claim over the issue of the public performance of pre-1972 recordings that did not fall under federal copyright protection. The settlement was designed to distribute funds to the major record labels, and they would in turn send payments to groups whose pre-1972 music was played on Sirius, but Flo & Eddie apparently do not trust them.