Breaking Beatles News!
Paul McCartney’s lawsuit against Sony has been settled, and his Beatles songs are his again!
As The Guardian reports:
“Paul McCartney has reached a settlement over copyright to the Beatles catalogue, avoiding a legal battle that could have had wide ramifications for the music business.
McCartney filed a lawsuit in January in a US court to secure rights from Sony ATV music publishing following a British judicial ruling that shook up the industry.
Michael Jacobs, a lawyer for McCartney, late last week informed a judge that the two sides “have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement”.
Jacobs asked Edgardo Ramos, a federal judge in New York, to dismiss the lawsuit. Representatives declined further comment.
The case revolves around the US Copyright Act of 1976 which aimed to strengthen the hand of songwriters – whose relationship with music publishers, who hold rights and distribute royalties, has been notoriously rocky.
Under the act, songwriters could reclaim copyright from music publishers 35 years after they gave them away – or 56 years for songs from before 1978.”
The Beatles wrote and recorded the greatest music ever, but they didn’t own it afterwards!
Here is the original story of the lawsuit from The Hollywood Reporter:
“Paul McCartney has filed suit in New York against Sony/ATV and is looking to get a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share to a treasured catalog of songs created as a member of The Beatles.
According to McCartney’s complaint, he transferred rights to songs co-authored by him and John Lennon between 1962 and 1971 to various music publishers.”
Yes, as they note, John and Paul “transferred rights” to various companies, and when they were bought by someone else, they lost the rights to the music they created!
The craziest part of the music business is how ownership of the music publishing is where all the money is…and this is where the story got weird in the 80’s between Paul McCartney and his friend, Michael Jackson..
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson teamed up on several songs, including the mega-hit “Say Say Say”.
Two of those songs were included on the album “Pipes Of Peace” – one of McCartney’s more polarizing efforts…see it here:
McCartney and Michael Jackson were friends making music, but little did McCartney know that Jackson was negotiating to take ownership of The Beatles musical catalog!
Here is how The Hollywood Reporter explains it.
“It’s well known that in the 1980s, after getting advice from McCartney himself that the big money in music was tied to rights in song compositions, Michael Jackson bought songs including “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be.” Jackson then entered a joint venture with Sony/ATV, and last year, his estate sold the late pop singer’s remaining interest to Sony.
The lawsuit notes that McCartney has been serving and recording termination notices for nearly a decade.”
So Jackson bought the rights to The Beatles catalog of songs, and McCartney has been trying to get them back ever since..imagine writing all of the incredible songs that McCartney did over the years, and he doesn’t own them!
This legal battle is now over, bravo to Macca for prevailing!
If you find the legal battles of the Beatles interesting, here is an amazing story:
This fascinating book looks at the legal battle over the music of The Beatles…read all about it here:
The music of The Beatles is, of course, priceless, and a recent documentary looked at their first trip to America:
Director Ron Howard uncovered amazing never-befpre-seen footage of the Fab Four in the first day of “Beatlemania” – see the trailer to this amazing documentary here:
The music of The Beatles has stood the test of time, including this masterpiece now fifty years old:
It’s almost unbelievable to have an album that is virtually flawless – with iconic music that lives on fifty years later…see it here:
Good luck to Paul McCarntey as he fights to regain the rights to his amazing music!