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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 18:00 GMT
Disney settles Lion song dispute
The Lion King
The Lion King film was made into a stage show
The family of the composer of The Lion Sleeps Tonight have dropped a case against Disney after accepting an undisclosed settlement.

The relatives of South African Solomon Linda, who wrote the original Zulu tune, settled with the US owners of the copyright who had loaned it to Disney.

The dispute over royalties arose when the song was used in The Lion King.

Linda, who died in poverty in 1962, composed the song in 1939 and recorded it with The Evening Birds.

His family contested that Disney was liable to pay almost 1m for using the song, which was used in The Lion King film and stage musical.

Back payment

Mr Linda sold the copyright to a local firm in 1939, but his lawyers said it should have reverted to his heirs 25 years after his death in 1962.

It has been recorded by at least 150 artists around the world, and became one of the most popular tunes in Africa.

Tight Fit were among the acts that covered the song, which topped the UK charts in 1982.

The song has reportedly earned more than $15m (8.4m) because of its use in the The Lion King movies, but Mr Linda's family received $15,000 (8,400).

The settlement involves back payment of royalties to the family and the right to participate in future payments on a worldwide basis.

Disney rebuffs Lion song claim
07 Jul 04 |  Entertainment
Family sues Disney over Lion song
05 Jul 04 |  Entertainment

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