Things may not be looking good for artists and record labels in their lawsuit against Sirius/XM over royalty free streaming of music made before 1972, Billboard.biz reported Friday. The labels in the suit include the Beatles’ Capitol Records and Universal Music Group.
According to Billboard, Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel said she may reject a motion by the labels with their interpretation of the law in instructions to be given to the jury that would have allowed the older recordings legal protection. The lawsuit is one of several in the dispute, including a $100 million class action suit by Howard Kaylen and Mark Volman of the Turtles, and another by SoundExchange.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, sound recordings were not protected by federal copyright law until 1972, though recordings made before 1972 are protected by state laws. Sirius/XM is currently not paying for using the songs, the RIAA says. In a statement this month, Eric Burdon said, “SiriusXM’s treatment of elder artists such as myself is totally unfair. They’re using our music to attract subscribers. Great bluesmen and the early rockers, like me, already suffered at the hands of unscrupulous sharks and we hoped this practice had stopped long ago. SiriusXM’s record profits shouldn’t come at the expense of artists like me, nor should they come at the expense of any artist.”
Across the streamiverse: Among the movies you’ll be able to be stream on Netflix starting in September is “Across the Universe,” Cleveland.com reported Wednesday. The 2007 Beatles tribute starred Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess. The film, which features an all-Beatles cover soundtrack, went over big with younger audiences.
Selfies for peace: Ringo Starr and John Varvatos will celebrate International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 in Los Angeles where Ringo and his All Starr Band will perform, his press office announced this week. The John Varvatos Peace & Love Event encourages people to participate by taking a peace selfie and using the hashtag #peacerocks to post on Twitter, Instagram and Vine.
For every upload, $1 will be donated to the The Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund, part of the David Lynch Foundation. Willie Nelson and his great grandson Dean have already participated, as seen in the picture on this page.
Julian contest: Julian Lennon announced Friday he’s giving away a copy of his forthcoming “Everything Changes” box set that includes three CDs, vinyl, a DVD and a signed certificate of authenticity. Entries can be made on Julian’s website.
Big Fest in Chicago: The Fest for Beatles Fans announced this week that the recent Chicago Fest at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare was attended by over 4,000 Beatles fans from 30 states and two continents. Next up, the first Los Angeles Fest in 14 years Oct. 10 to 12 at the LAX Airport Marriott, a return to the scene of past L.A. Fests. Guests will include Billy J. Kramer, Peter Asher, Joey Molland, former Wings Denny Seiwell, Denny Laine and Laurence Juber, and Beatles ’64 promoter Bob Eubanks. Tickets are on the Fest website.
Now on Kindle: Jude Sutherland Kessler’s latest book in her John Lennon “enhanced” biography series, “She Loves You,” is now on Kindle. This third volume covers events in Lennon’s life from April 30, 1963 when he was in Spain with Brian Epstein to February, 1964 and the Beatles’ arrival in America. As with the other books in the series, Kessler puts a lot of detail in the books with her extensive research and she strives for accuracy.
Honored: Chuck Berry, a big musical influence on the Beatles, was awarded the Polar Music Prize in Sweden Aug. 26, reported Billboard.biz. Berry did not attend the ceremony because of health issues. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones paid tribute to him in a recorded message, saying, “Such a great voice, such a great player and also such a great showman. It was all in one package.”
White Album project: Rutherford Chang, who buys original copies of the Beatles’ White Album to display them as part of a project called “We Buy White Albums,” is currently displaying his albums in Liverpool at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) through Sept. 14. “Come visit me and bring your White Albums,” he told Beatles Examiner.
Chang, who we interviewed last year, told us he started the project because “I’m interested in the way that each copy has aged uniquely and become an artifact of the last half-decade. I bought my second copy of ‘The White Album’ seven years ago and have continued since then.”