Independent Artists News

Publisher Claims Roger Millers Works Widow Loses

Court rules against Roger Miller’s widow Publisher Gets Singer’s Works

The widow of country music legend Roger Miller doesn’t own the rights to some of his biggest hits, including “King of the Road,” a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Sony/ATV Music Publishing owns the renewal copyrights to the songs the artist published in 1964. Federal courts have already ruled that Sony owns the rights to Miller’s songs published from 1958 to 1963.

In addition to “King of the Road,” the songs include for “Dang Me,” “Chug-A-Lug” and “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd.” The decision struck down a lower court’s ruling in widow Mary Miller’s favor.

It’s not clear whether she will appeal.

A spokesman for Sony said the company was pleased with the court’s decision, which enables Sony to continue to represent the catalog of the iconic songwriter.

Roger Miller died in 1992 after a battle with cancer. The singer left a will that stated that his widow was entitled to the rights to his work. But before he died he had assigned copyrights to his music to Sony.

The widow, who has been in a protracted legal battle with the publishing giant, had argued that she was entitled to the rights to the songs because her husband died before the copyrights assigned to Sony were renewed.

But the appeals court said Roger Miller had assigned rights to the company at the time applications were made to renew the copyrights.

Special Comment by Marty Martel for WHISNews21

The above article is something I have been preaching about for years regarding how publishing and record companies put the screws to artists and writers. It takes a hard-hitting entertainment attorney to make the record and publishing companies open up their books with an audit, and that is something neither one of these parasites want to do. They hate the risk that the attorney will find their loopholes on how not to pay what is due to the artists and writers.


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