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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 14:37 GMT
Stones fail in court royalty bid
Rolling Stones on stage
The Rolling Stones started their careers with Decca in 1963
The Rolling Stones have been refused permission to pursue a claim against their former record company Decca for unpaid royalties through the courts.

The rock legends want to be allowed to audit the accounts of Decca, now owned by Vivendi's Universal Music Group.

But on Friday, a High Court judge in London said the dispute must go to arbitration, not be decided in court.

The band say they may be owed money from songs they recorded when they were signed to the label from 1963-70.

The dispute centres on their Forty Licks compilation CD, which was released in 2002 and was the first collection to span their entire career.

The band say they are owed 80% of royalties from all the Decca-era songs on the CD - such as Paint It Black and Sympathy For The Devil - which could run into millions of pounds.

The Stones may seek leave to appeal against the judge's decision.

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