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Alvin & the Chipmunks

Sue Capitol for Royalties

11/18/2011 5:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1118_alvin_chipmunks_NBC_exTalk about a squirrel chipmunk trying to a get a nut -- the creators of Alvin and the Chipmunks have sued Capitol Records for 4 years of royalties on the high-pitched hitmakers' songs.

In the lawsuit, Bagdasarian Productions -- the people who created Alvin and Co. back in 1958 -- say they conducted an audit of royalty payments made to them between 2005 and 2009 ... and their results showed the 'munks were getting shafted.

Bagdasarian Prods. say they own all the Chipmunk's performances -- including classics like "On Top of Old Smokey," "Polly Wolly Doodle," and "Swing Low Sweet Chariot."

According to the suit, they're supposed to be paid about .09 for each song that's reproduced or distributed -- OR about .02 per minute of playing time. It all adds up.

Bagdasarian is demanding a full accounting and damages for breach of contract.

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