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Rock icons prevail in IP matter after protracted legal battle

Flo and Eddie are now, well, so happy together.

The shorthand designation of those two individuals applies to Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, respectively. If you don't immediately know who those two people are, it is nonetheless likely that you've heard a tune -- or ten -- that they performed as key musicians in the classic 1960s rock band The Turtles.

Happy Together was one of those songs, a smash hit that has remained hugely popular -- as have many other of the bands' songs -- over decades.

Volman and Kaylan have remained busy over the past few years as well, but more so in the guise of litigants than as wordsmiths cranking out tunes.

The focal point of their energies has been Sirius XM Holdings, with the duo alleging that the satellite radio company has been steadfastly ripping them and other artists off for years by not paying royalties when broadcasting Turtle and other songs.

Sirius has argued that it had no such duty regarding songs recorded prior to February 15, 1972, given that those tunes do not have federal copyright protection.

Unfortunately for Sirius, some states do provide for protection, with California being one of them. That is where Flo and Eddie filed a federal lawsuit against Sirius, prevailing in the litigation back in 2014.

A second damages trial was scheduled to commence earlier this month, but the two sides managed to reach a settlement before it began.

The result, which must still be judicially approved, calls Sirius to pay the Turtles duo and other class action members nearly $100 million in damages, applicable to both past royalties owed and a 10-year license agreement going forward.

In separate litigation concluded last year, Sirius agreed to pay multiple record labels more than $200 million to settle claims regarding its broadcasting of musicians that included the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin.

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