Owners of hit ‘Happy Together’ lose Florida copyright case

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida’s highest court says owners of old music recordings can’t make radio stations pay for their use, ruling in a dispute between the owner of The Turtles’ 1967 hit song “Happy Together” and Sirius XM Radio.

The Florida Supreme Court sided with Sirius XM in a case that echoes other lawsuits. New York’s highest court ruled in a similar case last December.

A company controlled by two of The Turtles’ founding members sued Sirius XM Radio, arguing its rights were violated when Sirius played its old songs without permission or compensation.

Sirius XM Radio argued it can play the songs which were made before 1972, when new federal copyright rules took effect.

Florida justices unanimously concluded that Florida law doesn’t recognize an “exclusive right of public performance” in pre-1972 recordings.

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