California Supreme Court Declines Questions on Public Performance Rights

New Law Makes Old Song Rights Queries Moot, High Court Says
– Daily Journal

Manatt’s Jordan Bromley, leader of the entertainment transactions and finance group, spoke to the Daily Journal about a recent decision by the California Supreme Court to decline to address federal appellate court questions on public performance rights for pre-1972 song rights holders.

The case originated with multi-state litigation brought by two members of the 1960s band the Turtles. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked the court to clarify who holds the public performance rights for pre-1972 sound recordings under state laws.

Bromley said the denial makes sense given recent legislation in music law.

“The Music Modernization Act directly addresses it; it provides a collection right,” he said. “It's unfortunate for the Turtles, but this is what this legislation was supposed to address. I think we should be seeing more of this. We'll have fewer court cases related to these kinds of issues.”