Coots co-wrote the festive tune with Haven Gillespie in 1934 and they agreed to a publishing deal with Leo Feist, whose company was subsequently acquired by chiefs at EMI.

Coots' daughter and two granddaughters filed suit in a New York federal court in 2012, seeking to take back the rights amid claims EMI's agreement is only valid until the end of 2016.

The publishers fought back and won an initial district court hearing, but the Coots family appealed the decision and on Thursday (08Oct15), officials at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City ruled in their favour.

They will now regain the rights to Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town after next year (16).

The holiday standard was first performed by singer Tom Stacks with banjoist Harry Reser and his band in October, 1934, and it has since been covered by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Destiny's Child, the Beach Boys and Justin Bieber.