It started with a lawsuit filed by the 60’s rock group The Turtles against Sirius XM, the satellite radio broadcaster, over royalties. Federal copyright law only applies to broadcasted music as of 1972, so The Turtles want to be paid royalties when Sirius XM plays the group’s pre-1972 music. The Turtles won the first round, so more lawsuits have ensued.
The latest are seven lawsuits that were filed against Apple's Beat Electronics, Sony Entertainment, Google, Rdio, Songza, Slacker and Escape Media Group, operator of Grooveshark. The lawsuits were filed by Zenbu Magazine which claims to own sound recordings of New Riders of the Purple Sage. Zenbu also claims to own the sound recordings of The Flying Burrito Brothers and Hot Tuna, but since we never heard of either of these groups, is there really any royalties to be paid?