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Paul McCartney sues Sony for Beatles songs

19 January 2017 Entertainment News

Fourth Estate Staff

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Paul McCartney sued Sony/ATV over the rights for the Beatles song regarding copyright ownership share as a member of the band.

McCartney filed the lawsuit in New York and the iconic songwriter is looking to control the termination provisions of the Copyright Act. In 1976, the Congress increased the number of years regarding the copyright protection. This is in recognition of the authors who have signed over their rights to publishers and studios to be able to reclaim their rights in a period of 35 years. Artists in the past, such as Tom Petty, Bob Dyland , and Prince, used the termination to negotiate better deals with studios and publishers for better compensation for their songs.

In the complaint filed by McCartney, he transferred rights to songs that were co-authored by him and John Lennon from 1962 to 1971 to different music publishers. His attorneys from Morrison & Foerster expect that he will recover his copyright interest around October 5, 2018.

Accordingly, McCartney has been giving termination notices to Sony for the past decade. His attorneys added, "For years following service of the first Termination Notices, Defendants gave no indication to Paul McCartney that they contested the efficacy of Paul McCartney’s Termination Notices. Defendants’ affiliates did, however, oppose at least one other artist’s terminations of transfers under the terms of the 1976 Copyright Act." That artists was identified as Duran Duran who has attempted to regain his rights under the termination protocol.

Sony, on the other hand, said in a statement that the complaint of McCartney refused to provide confirmation of termination and “attempted to reserve Defendants’ right to assert that once Paul McCartney’s terminations go into effect, Paul McCartney will have breached his contractual obligations to Defendants.” They added that the defendants are reserving their rights as they wait for the outcome of the Duran Duran case.

Some of the songs that McCartney wants to regain his copyrights are “Yesterday,” “The Long and Winding Road,” and “Hey Jude.”

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