How Serious Is That Sirius XM ‘Flo & Eddie’ Settlement?
On Nov. 16 RBR + TVBR told you that Sirius XM Holdings and 1960s pop band The Turtles agreed to settle a long-running class action lawsuit over pre-1972 recordings with a resolution that applies only to California.
What wasn’t reported at the time was just how much money was involved in the settlement.
According to Reuters, Sirius may pay close to $100 million to the founding members of The Turtles, Flo & Eddie (a.k.a. Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan), and other rights holders named in the claim, as restitution for the airing of the pre-1972 songs over several Sirius XM satellite radio channels.
Terms of the proposed lawsuit were disclosed in a Nov. 28 filing with a Los Angeles-based Federal court.
A copy was obtained by Reuters, which says Sirius agreed to $25 million and $40 million in past royalty payments, depending on the outcomes of similar cases in other states, including New York. Sirius XM will also finalize a 10-year license agreement said to be valued between $45.5 million and $59.2 million.
The settlement accounts for the airplay on Sirius XM channels of all pre-1972 songs heard since August 2009.
U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez must approve the settlement for Flo & Eddie and the other plaintiffs to cash in.
The settlement absolves Sirius XM of any wrongdoing; Gutierrez found Sirius liable under California law in September 2014, and this trial would have covered damages owed to Flo & Eddie and the others.
The settlement comes after Sirius in June 2015 said it would pay five major record labels $210 million to settle a pre-1972 airplay lawsuit.
RBR + TVBR OBSERVATION: Sirius-ly … $99.2 million for a band that broke up in 1970 and has two really awesome songs to its name? Not bad for a band that wouldn’t be known were it not for Los Angeles radio stations KRLA and KFWB, and a cover of a Bob Dylan tune. After scoring with “Happy Together” and “She’d Rather Be With Me,” Flo & Eddie went on to record with Frank Zappa and sang backing vocals on T. Rex’s “Get It On (Bang a Gong).” In the 1970s, the two launched a syndicated radio show originating from Metromedia’s KMET-FM in L.A. In the 1980s, they had radio shows on KROQ-FM in Los Angeles and WXRK-FM in New York. If it wasn’t for radio, would these influential rock and roll veterans be relevant today? Thanks for letting radio make you famous, Flo & Eddie. Hope you enjoy the millions and millions of dollars AM and FM radio is directly responsible for.