LITIGATION: Is That All There Is?

Is That All There Is?

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"Ya gimme feevahhh," sang jazz diva Peggy Lee, but it's Walt Disney studios , that's feeling the heat. Lee is suing the film company for $25 million in a dispute over royalties from the blockbuster videocassette of Disney's 1955 animated tale, Lady and the Tramp. Lee co-wrote all the movie's songs and provided the voices for four characters, including a torch-song-singing Pekingese named Peg. Her fee: $4,000, meager even by 1950s standards.

Disney asked Lee last year to help promote the release of the Lady and the Tramp cassette, paying a $500 "honorarium" -- her only share of the video's $100 million in revenues. Lee contends she deserves a larger cut on the ground that her 1952 contract denied Disney the right to make "transcriptions for sale to the public" without her O.K. Disney states only that the suit is "without merit."