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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 09:57 GMT
Chuck Berry sues US karaoke firms
Chuck Berry
Berry owns all publishing rights to his songs, his lawyers said
Singer Chuck Berry has sued three US karaoke music distributors, claiming they sold sing-along versions of his hits without paying royalties.

He seeks several hundred thousand dollars for each of the songs including Johnny B Goode and My Ding-A-Ling.

The 79-year-old US rock and roll star names karaoke distributors UAV Corp, Madacy Entertainment and Top Tunes Inc in his legal action.

The three US companies were unavailable for comment.

Lesser-known songs

Unlike many recording stars of his era, Berry owns all the publishing rights to his songs, his lawyers said.

The singer also claims the firms failed to obtain licences to sell karaoke versions of his songs, including the track Maybellene.

Having blended blues with pop, 1950s and 1960s star Berry received a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1984.

Several copyright holders of lesser-known songs took similar legal action at Los Angeles District Court on Wednesday.

They seek royalties that have allegedly gone uncollected on more than 24 songs in total.

Karaoke began in Japan as a nightclub novelty but US karaoke record labels generate a total revenue of $50m (28m) per year, the New York Times estimated.

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