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Paul McCartney Fights for the Rights to Beatles Songs
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The Beatles. Photo courtesy of Uke Cifras.

Summary: Paul McCartney has filed a lawsuit to regain the rights to The Beatles’ music library from Sony.

The Beatles created beloved classics such as “Hey Jude” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” but the band doesn’t own the rights to their amazing work. Now Paul McCartney is fighting Sony/ATV to regain his group’s music library.


“In what could become one of the most important legal battles in the music industry this decade, the iconic songwriter is looking to leverage the termination provisions of the Copyright Act,” The Hollywood Reporter stated. In 1976, Congress passed a law that allowed authors who had signed their rights to publishers and studios without bargaining power to reclaim their work after 35 years.

McCartney filed his lawsuit in New York against Sony/ATV, and he is hoping to regain the copyright ownership of The Beatles’ catalog of music, which includes the aforementioned hits as well as “Helter Skelter” and “All My Loving.” His action is similar to those of his fellow artists such as Prince and Bob Dylan. Using the Copyright Act, those musicians successfully negotiated with their music companies to regain the rights to their songs after threatening the termination of their contracts.

Sony/ATV acquired the rights to The Beatles’ songs from Michael Jackson after his death. The late King of Pop knew that there was big money in copyright ownership so he had purchased the Beatles’ music in the 1980s.

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In response to McCartney’s lawsuit, Sony stated,”Sony/ATV has the highest respect for Sir Paul McCartney with whom we have enjoyed a long and mutually rewarding relationship with respect to the treasured Lennon & McCartney song catalog. We have collaborated closely with both Sir Paul and the late John Lennon’s Estate for decades to protect, preserve and promote the catalog’s long-term value. We are disappointed that they have filed this lawsuit which we believe is both unnecessary and premature.”

McCartney is represented by the law firm, Morrison & Foerster. To read the entire lawsuit, see the document below:

Mccartney termination by Eriq Gardner on Scribd

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Do you think Paul McCartney will be able to get The Beatles’ music back? Let us know in the comments below. 


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