Publishing Pitfalls

Pandora Radio

Pandora Radio

After browsing articles discussing the infringement of musical works, I chose to write and address this article titled “Capitol Records, LLC v. Pandora Media, Inc.: Future of Digital Music May Depend on State Copyright Protection of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings” published on on August 29, 2014. The article discusses how Pandora was sued for copyright infringement, misappropriation, and unfair competition exploiting the sound recordings of pre- 1972 artists.

Pandora infringed over 1,400 pre- 1972 sound recordings by copying the recordings to their servers to then stream the works via Pandora’s platform without a Public Performance License or any payment of royalties for using the works. Pandora understands that sound recordings that were fixed prior to February 15, 1972 are not protected under Federal Law and they are benefiting from this law loop. What took Pandora by surprise was the New York’s Common Law Copyright Protection of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings, which by the way Pandora doesn’t comply with.

The impact of infringement of publishing revenue can be toxic towards an artist, like the harm incurred by this infringement resulting in monetary loss to the copyright owners. Pandora’s business model is a great example of how to be disrespectful towards the industry and society as well. The copyright owners where the parties that were harmed once the infringement was justified where Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMB Recordings, Warner Music Group and ABKC Music & Records. The motivation of Pandora for their acts was simply focused on the opportunity to capitalize from the lack of true protection of copyright law, and they did. They’re not trying to learn from their mistakes, instead, they are trying to justify their actions by stating that their servers are located outside of New York. While the current license structure used by publishing companies are ok, it’s the license management and enforcement departments that need focus. This will definitively contribute towards reducing the likelihood of this type of situation from being effective but ultimately the education and understanding of copyright is the essential startup point. In my opinion it makes no sense that a corporation can own copyrights to works they are incapable of creating, only humans should be entitled to copyrights, thanks for reading!


Laurentino Nieves Cruz


Grimm, N., & Palma, A. (2014, August 29). Capitol Records, LLC v. Pandora Media, Inc.: Future of Digital Music May Depend on State Copyright Protection of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings. Retrieved September 24, 2014, from

Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 committee print of the Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 1105 / Public Law 111-8: legislative text and explanatory statement. (2009). Washington: U.S. G.P.O.


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