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Top NY Court Backs EMI In Duke Ellington Royalty Suit

Law360, New York (October 23, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT) -- New York's top appeals court on Thursday refused to revive a lawsuit filed by the heirs of Duke Ellington that claimed music publisher EMI was effectively “double-dipping” into foreign sales of the jazz legend's music.

A sharply-divided Court of Appeals affirmed two previous decisions dismissing the case, which had accused the Sony/ATV Music subsidiary of exploiting decades-old contractual language on so-called "net receipts" and structural changes in the music industry in order to take two separate cuts from revenue generated overseas.

Ellington's 1961 contract gave him 50 percent of any money the publisher received from sales outside the U.S., but only...

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