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Heirs to Ben E. King win “Stand by Me” royalty fight

March 29, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge says the heirs to the late singer Ben E. King can keep the royalty rights to “Stand by Me” and “There Goes My Baby” after a New York company claimed he’d agreed to sell them.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken ruled Thursday. Manhattan-based Artists Rights Enforcement Corp. was seeking an $800,000 finder’s fee for locating a potential buyer.

In ruling, Oetken rejected the company’s claims that the singer orally agreed to an $8.2 million purchase of his writer’s royalties to the songs before his April 2015 death.

A lawyer for the estate had argued at a trial last year that King meant to leave the royalty stream to his wife of 50 years, his daughter, his son and his granddaughter.

Lawyers did not comment on the ruling.