Paul McCartney has filed a lawsuit against Sony/ATV to retrieve the rights to classic Beatles songs.
In a complaint filed in New York, it details Paul McCartney transferring rights of songs he wrote with John Lennon to various music publishers throughout the 1960s. In the 1980s, Michael Jackson bought the rights to many of these songs, including Hey Jude and Let It Be. The singer then bought shares in Sony/ATV and after his death, and his estate sold them back for $750m. This bundle included many Beatles tracks.
The ownership of the songs is set to be Paul McCartney’s again in 2018 but he claims that he hasn’t received confirmation this will happen without a legal fight despite numerous attempts to contact the company.
Paul McCartney will be concerned in light of the fact that Duran Duran fought and lost a similar fight with Sony/ATV last December. A judge ruled that English laws of contract barred them from seeking to reclaim rights over their own works.
“Rather than provide clear assurances to Paul McCartney that Defendants will not challenge his exercise of his termination rights, Defendants are clearly reserving their rights pending the final outcome of the Duran Duran litigation in the UK,” the complaint reads.