Turtles Lose In Florida

Two former members of the group The Turtles had their claims against Sirius XM Radio Inc., struck down in the Supreme Court of Florida Oct. 27.

Flo & Eddie of The Turtles
David Conger / DavidConger.com
– Flo & Eddie of The Turtles
Snoqualmie Casino, Snoqualmie, Wash.

The decision ruled that Florida common law “does not recognize an exclusive right of public performance in pre-1972 sound records,” meaning The Turtles’ claim that the artist should be paid for unlicensed use of their songs before 1972 was essentially invalid.

The opinion, written by Justice Charles Canady, also agreed with lower court decisions related to reproduction of works for “internal copies” and “common law copyright in sound records,” both of which were essentially against the plaintiffs.

The Turtles did strike a deal in a California court with Sirius XM that would see the satellite radio station paying up to $99 million to settle class-action suits filed by Flo & Eddie, a.k.a. Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, of The Turtles. The final judgment for the California settlement was entered May 16.  

The minimum payout from the settlement would include $25 million plus legal costs and royalty payments at a rate of 5.5 percent for all members of the class action moving forward. Certain figures would be determined by the outcome of various appeals in other courts. The loss of the Florida appeal reduces the amount earned through that settlement.

A New York court of appeals also reportedly ruled against Flo & Eddie earlier this year.