Being in the radio business for more years than I care to remember, I can tell you paying royalties is an absolute must. I cannot believe Sirius/XM did not know this. I'd like to think it was simply an oversight, however with three major labels, and a host of artists involved in the suit, it looks to me like it could be trouble for Sirius XM.

On Wednesday, the three largest record companies — Sony, Universal and Warner, along with ABKCO, an independent that controls many of the Rolling Stones’ early music rights — sued Sirius XM Radio in a California court, saying that the satellite service used recordings from before 1972 without permission. according to an article in the NY Times. Even though federal copyright protection does not apply to these recordings, the suits say that they are still covered by state law.

The suit is the third major complaint filed against Sirius XM in five weeks.