Sir Paul settles The Beatles song rights dispute


Victory for Sir Paul McCartney. Image by Kubacheck

The Beatles legend and Sony have reached an agreement over ownership of the band’s songs, but settlement details remain unclear

Sir Paul McCartney has made a deal with Sony to regain the rights of 267 of The Beatles’ songs. A fight that can be traced back to the 1980s, it is one of the most notorious cases of ownership rights in music history.

To keep it brief, in 1985, Michael Jackson bought the rights to The Beatles songs. Jackson’s interest in music ownership came after McCartney discussed music publishing with him. It is said that Jackson was interested in the money-making opportunities that came with music ownership. The Thriller singer eventually outbid The Beatles star for much of the band’s catalogue.

Jackson’s debt-ridden estate sold the catalogue to Sony last year. This lead to McCartney’s legal team filing a copyright termination. This is the right of authors to reclaim ownership of their works from music publishers after a specific amount of time has passed. Duran Duran lost a similar case in 2016.

McCartney claimed that he is set to reacquire the rights in 2018, but Sony had not confirmed that they would transfer the song copyrights. Now, the parties have settled their dispute. McCartney’s attorney wrote: “The parties have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement.”

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  1. Gary Collins

    Paul deserves the rights to his music, John would feel the about Lennon/McCartney songs, They were stolen but now it’s past time for them to get back to where they once belonged

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