DMCA protections do not apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, court rules

The decision could have widespread ramifications for online music-sharing sites

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has shielded many a website from copyright infringement claims (YouTube, we’re looking at you). But its protections do not extend to pre-1972 sound recordings, a New York state appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The decision came as part of a lawsuit that Universal Music Group (UMG) filed against the online music-sharing service Grooveshark. UMG argued that Grooveshark violated copyright laws when it allowed users to share unlicensed music—such as “Johnny B. Goode” and “My Girl”—which were recorded before 1972.

Alanna Byrne

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