Sirius Battle Over Attorney Fees Follows Turtles’ Pre-72 Sound Recordings Settlement

Does a recent 2nd Circuit ruling count as a win for Sirius or The Turtles under their settlement?

SiriusXM and The Turtles may have settled their dispute on the eve of a California federal trial, but it seems a new fight has emerged over attorneys’ fees because of a disagreement over the interpretation of their deal.

The legal battle, which spans three states, arises from the fact that pre-1972 sound recordings aren’t protected by federal copyright. Two members of The Turtles, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (Flo & Eddie), sued under various state laws so they and others like them could be compensated for songs played on stations like SiriusXM Radio’s ’60s on 6.

Flo & Eddie won summary judgment in California, where a federal judge found Sirius’ use of their music violates public performance rights. The trial was set to determine how much the satellite giant should pay in damages, but the parties came up with that figure on their own and settled.

Sirius is set to pay up to $99 million to rightsholders, with the absolute minimum being set at $25 million. How high that number climbs depends on what happens in the 2nd, 9th, and 11th Circuits as Sirius challenges its liability. Sirius could pay an additional $15 million more if Flo & Eddie were to prevail on appeals in all three states. On top of that, the proposed settlement also gives Sirius a 10-year license (through 2028) in exchange for…