Mark Farner, of the 1970s band Grand Funk Railroad, is one of numerous plaintiffs alleging the online on-demand music-streaming services of Microsoft Corp., RealNetworks Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. distributed their music without proper copyright licensing. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tennessee, revolves around the distinction between recording copyrights and musical composition copyrights. The plaintiffs - a long list of artists, publishing companies and copyright administrators, led by MCS Music America Inc. (subsidiary of London’s Music Copyright Solutions PLC) - allege that while the defendants may have obtained licenses for the music recordings, they did not obtain licenses to distribute the underlying composition.
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