Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Paul McCartney Begins Bid to 'Get Back' the Beatles Catalogue.

Well, he's finally doing it. Thanks to the US Copyright act of 1976, Paul McCartney is set to finally claim the publishing rights on most of the early Beatles songs. Songs he co-wrote with John Lennon.

However, it won't be the full catalogue and it'll only be the publishing rights in the USA. Sony/ATV will still control it in the rest of the world.

For those who are unaware of the whole saga, here it is simplified:

In 1963, Brian Epstein did a deal with Dick James and set up 'Northern Songs' to publish the Beatles songs which at the time were being written by Lennon & McCartney. When Harrison and Starkey started writing, they too had their songs published by the company but later formed their own companies while the Lennon and McCartney tunes stayed with Northern Songs.

After Epstein's death, Dick James was under enormous pressure from Lew Grade's ATV music to sell the catalogue to them, which he did without even giving the Beatles the chance to buy back their own songs. ATV were purchased by none other than Michael Jackson in the 1980s.

Jackson's purchase of the songs came after Paul McCartney advised him to get into song publishing, Jackson turned around and told him "I'm going to buy your songs!" which understandably annoyed Paul.

While Paul's bid to get the songs back in the US looks to be successful, the John Lennon Beatles rights publishing rights won't return to his estate. Yoko Ono sold them to Sony in 2009.

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