Hausfeld Announces Class Action Lawsuits on Behalf of Uncompensated Owners of Pre-1972 Recordings

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hausfeld, a global claimants' law firm, announced today that lawsuits have been filed on behalf of Beach Road Music LLC in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple, Inc., Beats Electronics LLC, Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC, Sony Entertainment Network International LLC, Rdio Inc., and Escape Media Group, Inc. and its two owners (who operate Grooveshark) on behalf of owners of musical performances that were recorded prior to February 15, 1972. The lawsuits seek to recover royalties and licensing fees from the defendants, who are profiting by operating services that stream pre-1972 recordings without obtaining a license or permission from the recordings' owners.

The respective complaints allege that: (1) the plaintiff and proposed class members are legal owners of a library of pre-1972 recordings; (2) the various defendants have been streaming to their consumers in the states of California, Florida, and New York pre-1972 recordings belonging to the plaintiff and proposed class members; (3) the various defendants have not obtained permission from the plaintiff and class members to stream their pre-1972 recordings; (4) the various defendants have not paid royalties or licensing fees to the plaintiff and proposed class members for the use of their pre-1972 recordings; (5) the various defendants have been profiting from the unauthorized use of such recordings; and (6) as a result of the forgoing, the various defendants have violated plaintiff's and proposed class members' exclusive ownership rights in their pre-1972 recordings.

As founding partner Michael Hausfeld explained, "While the rights of artists in the pre-1972 music compositions they own are not protected by federal copyright law, they are protected by state common and statutory law, and some states, like California, have enacted laws that give those rights a broad scope of protection. The major music streaming services have consistently refused to recognize those rights and declined to compensate artists for the performance of musical compositions that they own. This situation is intolerable and these lawsuits are intended to correct that situation."

Hausfeld attorneys working on this case are Michael Hausfeld, Michael Lehmann, Christopher Lebsock, Bonny Sweeney, Bruce Wecker, James Pizzirusso, Nathaniel Giddings, and Stephanie Cho.

About Hausfeld

Hausfeld is a leading global law firm with offices in Brussels, London, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The firm has a broad range of complex litigation expertise, particularly in antitrust/competition, financial services, sports and entertainment, environmental, mass torts, consumer protection, and human rights matters, often with an international dimension. Hausfeld aims to achieve the best possible results for clients through its practical and commercial approach, avoiding litigation where feasible, yet litigating robustly when necessary. Hausfeld's extensive experience with alternative and innovative fee models offers clients a diverse menu of engagement options and maximum flexibility in terms of managing their cost exposure.

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Source: Hausfeld