As shown in the now-famous exchange between Taylor Swift and Apple, artists have a love/hate relationship with music streaming services. Is the increased exposure worth the relatively low payout? Is it worth nopayout? Several 1960s rock bands say no and have subsequently sued Sirius XM and Pandora.
“Since the Federal copyright only protected songs made after 1972, players such as Sirius XM and Pandora were not paying royalties for songs launched before 1972,” Forbes reports. The Turtles and other classic bands sued, arguing that they deserved a cut of the streaming revenues anyway. The lawsuit against Sirius XM just settled, “with the satellite radio provider agreeing to pay $210 million for broadcasting songs made before 1972” and promising to negotiate a new licensing deal.
This lawsuit illustrates why it is so important to stay abreast of changes in your industry. Streaming services are at risk if they don’t anticipate and address the trend of artists demanding and receiving greater royalties. They may face their own lawsuits, or worse, defamation from one of society’s most influential voices, Taylor Swift.