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Rick James' estate settles rights suit

The estate of late funk singer Rick James has settled a lawsuit that claimed a music publishing company collected money from licensing his songs without permission. The estate’s attorney, Jennifer J. McGrath, announced the settlement in court Thursday. Trial had been set to begin Jan. 7. Dozens of James’ compositions, though not his biggest hit “Super Freak,” were involved in the suit filed in March in Superior Court.

It accused California-based Brooklyn Music Publishing Group Inc. of collecting money from European music publishers and making new foreign deals without authority.

Messages left Monday for McGrath and Brooklyn Music attorney Vincent Chieffo were not immediately returned.

The damages sought were not specified in the lawsuit, and the terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court documents.

The Grammy-winning James died at age 56 in his Burbank home of heart failure in 2004.