Paul McCartney moves to reclaim Beatles rights

Sony/ATV Music Publishing currently owns the publishing on their legendary back catalogue...

Paul McCartney moves to reclaim Beatles rights

Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson in the music video for 'Say, Say, Say' [YouTube]

Paul McCartney has taken the first legal steps to acquiring the rights to his share of The Beatles' back catalogue.

The iconic Liverpudlian songwriter filed a claim with the US copyright office on December 15, Billboard reports.
The US publishing is currently owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Under US law, however, artists can apply to reclaim publishing rights to their work 56 years on from their initial publication.

That means those famous Lennon-McCartney songs will be up for grabs in 2018.

McCartney's termination notice was for 32 songs, while the late John Lennon's half of the publishing would remain with Sony/ATV after the company apparently cut a deal with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono.

Sony/ATV gained joint ownership of the back catalogue back in 1995, paying Michael Jackson approximately £59 million for the rights.

The Jackson estate has now decided to sell its remaining 50% stake to Sony for $170 million.

Famously, Jackson had purchased ATV – and the Beatles' back catalogue – in 1985 after advice from McCartney himself that owning publishing rights could prove to be highly lucrative.

He told Jackson at the time:

"This is the way to make big money. Every time someone records one of these songs, I get paid. Every time someone plays these songs on the radio, or in live performances, I get paid".

McCartney later said of Jackson outbidding him:

"I think it’s dodgy to do something like that. To be someone’s friend, and then buy the rug they’re standing on".