Paul McCartney Suing Sony Over The Beatles' Songs

Stacey Cole

Paul McCartney is suing Sony in an attempt to win a battle Duran Duran lost, according to the BBC. In what has already been called one of the most important legal battles in music history, the 74-year-old singer is suing Sony over control of the publishing rights to The Beatles' back catalog.

— CNN (@CNN) January 19, 2017

But the estate of Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, sold the band's songs to Sony in 2016, along with other hit songs the late King of Pop had acquired in his lifetime. Paul McCartney's legal battle with Sony is what is often referred to as copyright termination.

In legal terms, copyright termination is when an artist has the right to regain ownership of their works from music publishers after some period. Paul McCartney is not the only artist to exercise copyright termination rights, which is part of the U.S. 1976 Copyright Act in court, as Prince, Billy Joel, and Duran Duran have previously used it to regain control over their music.

But many experts find similarities between the cases of Paul McCartney and Duran Duran, who lost its case last month when the court ruled that the contracts they signed in Britain took precedence over their rights in the U.S.

— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 18, 2017

In the legal papers filed on behalf of Paul McCartney, the singer is seeking to prevent Sony from challenging his attempts to regain the publishing rights to the songs. Sir Paul is worried that Sony could accuse him of a breach of contract or publishing agreement, according to Forbes.

"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."

— Gary McKeon (@BeatlesByDay) January 18, 2017

Paul McCartney's ongoing legal battle with Sony is of particular interest to British artists seeking to regain control over the publishing rights to their songs as, unlike Duran Duran, the singer has filed the papers in the U.S.

While some of The Beatles' songs Paul McCartney is seeking to regain control over won't be eligible for copyright termination in the U.S. until after 2025, the singer will be able to hold the publishing rights to "Love Me Do," composed in 1962, as soon as next year.

— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) January 16, 2017

With his lawsuit, Paul McCartney wants to get a confirmation from the U.S. court that he will be able to reclaim ownership of his songs as well as legal fees.

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