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The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that iHeartMedia does not have to pay mechanical reproduction royalties for the broadcast of sound recordings fixed in copyright before Feb. 15, 1972.


  • The class action claim was brought by Arthur and Barbara Sheridan, master-rights owners of several 1950s and 1960s recordings performed by influential musicians of the era such as the Flamingos, Little Walter, and the Moonglows.

Features and Benefits

  • The research note details the claim made against iHeartMedia over the broadcast of pre-1972 sound recordings in the state of Georgia.
  • Details the reasons given by the supreme court as to why the broadcaster does not have to pay royalties.

Key questions answered

  • What was the basis of the royalties claim made against iHeartMedia?
  • Why does the broadcaster not owe rights holders any royalties for the use of pre-1972 sound recordings?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • A pre-1972 sound recordings dispute not involving Flo & Eddie
  • IHeartMedia’s “pattern of racketeering”
  • No pre-1972 mechanical royalties


  • Author

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