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ABS Wants Class Action Status For Suits

 In CBA News

Original Article by Inside Radio

ABS Entertainment and other record company owners of music recorded before 1972 have asked a California federal judge to award class action status to their copyright infringement lawsuits against CBS Radio and Cumulus Media.

Joining ABS in filing the motion in U.S District Court for the Central District of California are Barnaby Records, Brunswick Record Corp. and Malacao Inc.

The companies site a separate but similar pending case brought by Flo & Eddie against SiriusXM Radio in the same court in which a judge granted class certification for the case. Further, the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court denied the satcaster’s petition for permission to appeal the court order granting class certification.

The motion seeks class certification for all owners of sound recordings of musical performances recorded prior to Feb. 15, 1972, the date when federal copyright protection began for sound recordings.

As evidence of meeting the “numerosity” requirement for class action status, the record companies point again to the Flo & Eddie case, which claimed the proposed class contained “hundreds (if not thousands) of different owners of pre-1972 recordings.”

ABS first sued Cumulus, CBS Radio and iHeartMedia in California in August, before filing similar complaints in New York. The lawsuits claim their stations and online streams haven’t obtained performance rights licenses or paid performance royalties for pre-1972 recordings. The suits seek a trial by jury, injunctive relief and monetary damages, accusing the broadcasters of violating state civil code, misappropriation and unfair business practices.

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