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News June 30, 2017

Paul McCartney & Sony/ATV resolve Beatles rights battle

Lars Brandle
Paul McCartney & Sony/ATV resolve Beatles rights battle

Paul McCartney and Sony/ATV have quietly settled on a landmark case over rights to songs he wrote with the Beatles.

The legendary singer, songwriter and bass player sued the music publishing giant in a U.S. District Court in New York earlier this year to regain his copyrights to songs in October 2018.

McCartney’s legal argument was based on the 1976 Copyright Act that states that the rights to works made before 1978 must be returned to their creators 56 years after the date of the original copyright. Though 2018 – specifically the date Oct. 5 — has yet to roll around, it’ll mark precisely 56 years since the Lennon-McCartney partnership began its songwriting masterclass in 1962.

According to the paperwork, McCartney had been making several such legal filings since 2008 and his choice to engage with the U.S. legal system was a shrewd one.

British pop-rock outfit Duran Duran tried and failed to reclaim U.S. rights to some of their songs through a tetchy battle waged last year in the U.K.’s High Court, an outcome said to have “outraged and saddened” the band.

So by launching proceedings in the U.S., McCartney and his reps had wagered that U.S. copyright law and its termination laws take precedence over contracts agreed on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Hollywood Reporter has closely followed the legal drama, the result of which it’s describing as a “draw.” Though details of the resolution are unclear, both parties have “resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement and jointly request that the Court enter the enclosed proposed order dismissing the above-referenced action without prejudice,” writes McCartney attorney Michael Jacobs in a Thursday letter to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, THR reports.

The news comes just days after the Hall of Famer announced his One on One Tour would wing its way to Australia and New Zealand later this year for a five-date tour, his first in these parts for nearly a quarter century.
Read more here.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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