Justices won't hear appeal in music copyright dispute

March 27, 2017

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from record companies that want to pursue copyright infringement claims against music site Vimeo for hosting unauthorized recordings from the Beatles, Elvis Presley and other classic artists.

The justice on Monday left in place a ruling that said websites are protected from liability even for older music recorded before 1972.

Capital Records and other music companies sued Vimeo for violating copyright laws based on 199 videos uploaded by users. A federal judge ruled a federal "safe harbor" law did not cover pre-1972 recordings that are protected by state law.

But a New York federal appeals court overturned that ruling, saying service providers would incur heavy costs to monitor every posting or risk "crushing liabilities" under state law.

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