Roger Miller’s Widow Wins Copyright Fight

Mary Miller, widow of Country Music Hall of Fame member Roger Miller, has emerged the winner in a protracted legal battle over the rights to some of her husband’s biggest hits, including “King of the Road.”

On Thursday (3/18), a federal judge ruled Mary Miller and Roger Miller Music Inc. own the copyrights to the artist’s songs from 1964. Other hit songs on the list include “Dang Me,” “Chug-A-Lug” and “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd.”

U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes also said in a written order that the widow and the company are entitled to about $900,000 for royalties they should have received.

Mary Miller and Roger Miller Music sued Sony/ATV Publishing in 2004 claiming that the right of renewal of the original copyrights for songs from 1958-64 went to her. The widow claimed a right to the songs from 1964 because Miller passed away prior to the beginning of the copyright renewal period. At the time of Miller’s death, copyrights had to be renewed after 28 years.

Roger Miller died from cancer in 1992 at the age of 56.


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