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Happy Days cast in royalties ruling

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Tom Bosley, Marion Ross and Erin Moran of Happy Days pictured in 2001 (AP/EJ Flynn)

Tom Bosley, Marion Ross and Erin Moran of Happy Days pictured in 2001 (AP/EJ Flynn)

Tom Bosley, Marion Ross and Erin Moran of Happy Days pictured in 2001 (AP/EJ Flynn)

A judge has ruled that former Happy Days actors can argue that they are owed royalties from DVD sales of the hit series.

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Elizabeth White's ruling clears the way for a court case on whether actors Anson Williams, Marion Ross, Don Most, Erin Moran and the widow of Tom Bosley may still be owed royalties on the use of their images in DVD packaging.

CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures sought to have their claims dismissed, saying the group was properly paid.

The case is scheduled for mid-July, but it will not feature series stars Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, who are not parties to the lawsuit.

The actors' group initially sued CBS for 10 million dollars (£6.5 million) last April, claiming they were cheated out of royalties from from the sale of products including gambling machines, T-shirts, board games, greeting cards and drinking glasses.

Lawyer Jon Pfeiffer said the group has received payments for several other types of merchandise and the unpaid royalties from DVD sales are worth an estimated 320,000 dollars (£209,000).

He said he learned after filing the case that Winkler and Howard had been paid for merchandise rights, but it was unclear how much.

Defence lawyers declined to comment.

PA