«Can’t buy my songs». Paul McCartney against Sony for copyright Beatles rights

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«Hey Paul, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better». More than to Jude, Paul McCartney should, this time, sing to himself one of his most famous songs. The English baronet is not in a good mood, announced that he would bring the Sony court to regain the copyright on almost 200 songs composed at the time of the Beatles. In the catalog there are masterpieces like Yesterday, All you need is love, The long and winding road, Come together and the same Hey Jude.
Yes, because, curiously enough, the Fab Four are not owners of their artistic work, which, half a century later, continues to captivate millions of fans.In the sixties, the majority ownership of the rights to the Beatles songs belonged to the publisher Dick James of the Northern Songs, before being sold to ATV Music. The company was then purchased in 1984 by Michael Jackson for nearly 25 million pounds. In 1985 the American singer was then awarded the rights of Beatles songs for 41.5 million dollars. The entire estate became the property of Sony Music, first in 1995 and then last year for a value of $ 750 million. The Japanese corporation also owns the copyrights of some songs by Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan and record label Motown (very active in the sixties with, among others, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations).
The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in New York. McCartney’s lawyers intend to “confirm ownership of the songs,” availing of the law on copyright in the United States, the Copyright Act of 1976, according to which the works created before 1978 must regain possession of their authors 56 years after the first copyright. And in 2018 will be spent exactly 56 years from the first track weblog Lennon McCartney, Love me do, engraved in 1962.
Prompt came the reply of the company: “We have the highest respect for Sir Paul McCartney – says Sony – with whom we have had a long, friendly and fruitful relationship for both, always marked by profound respect for the rich catalog of songs signed by Lennon and McCartney. We are very sorry that have taken up this cause is believed to be together, unnecessary and premature”. The Japanese giant could leverage an interpretative defect in the law: there is debate, in fact, if US rules may also be applied to tracks made outside of the US. The previous rules in favor of Sony that, in 2016, won a similar legal battle against Duran Duran.
Perhaps from Japan are hoping that the court will present the Paul McCartney lookalike, given the legend that accompanies the English baronet for the past 50 years, the legendary “Paul is dead”, a story fueled by the Beatles in different songs and covers of their album (think Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road). It was to be the real one, probably the lawyer’s speech sounds like a “Hey Sony, can not buy my songs”.

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