Three under-privileged daughters of the late South African composer Solomon Linda have won a six year legal battle for royalties to his song THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT, opening the floodgates for similar claims. The siblings have won an undisclosed amount - thought to be in the millions - in royalties from the 1939 song, known as MTUBE in South Africa. The settlement with Abilene Music was finalised in New York last month (FEB06) and gives Linda's heirs 25 per cent of all past and future royalties. South African copyright lawyer OWEN DEAN successfully argued that under the British Imperial Copyright Act of 1911 the rights revert to the heirs who are entitled to royalties. He says, "Now the way has been shown. Others in similar circumstances can fight such injustice, and I have no doubt that there are other people in this position." Linda died aged 53 from kidney disease in 1962. His fourth daughter died in 2002 from AIDS while the legal battle was in progress. The Lion Sleeps Tonight became known to music fans all over the world and has featured in numerous movies including The Lion King.