Chuck Berry’s Lawsuit Against the Beach Boys

In 1964, legendary rock and roll musician Chuck Berry sued the Beach Boys for copyright infringement. The lawsuit was in response to the Beach Boys’ hit single “Surfin’ USA,” which Berry claimed was a copy of his song “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

The Outcome of the Lawsuit

The lawsuit was settled out of court, with the Beach Boys agreeing to pay Berry a lump sum of $5,000 and give him a writing credit on the song. In addition, they agreed to pay him royalties from future sales of the song. This settlement set an important precedent for copyright law, as it established that artists could be compensated for their work even if it had been copied without permission.

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