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Will Paul McCartney Get The Rights To His Beatles Songs Back? He's Already Working On It
20 March 2016
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Bullion
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When news broke that the Michael Jackson estate would sell its 50 percent share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing to Sony in a $750 million deal, many wondered whether Paul McCartney would finally be able to acquire the rights to his share of the company’s crown jewel -- the Lennon-McCartney catalog -- since it begins coming up for reversion in 2018.

Billboard can confirm that as of Dec. 15, 2015, he has already begun the process.

To recap, at some point during the early ‘80s heyday of McCartney’s friendship with Jackson, he pointed out the value of music publishing. Jackson soon received a tip that ATV Music -- publisher of the Beatles’ Lennon-McCartney songs, among many others -- was available, and purchased it for $47.5 million in 1985. McCartney had long coveted his Beatles catalog -- he and Lennon lost out to ATV in a 1969 attempt to purchase Northern Songs, their original publisher -- and he never forgave Jackson for what he considered a betrayal of their friendship.

It’s an opportunity McCartney is not going to let slip past him again. The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 gave songwriters the ability to recapture the publishers’ share of their songs, and in the case of titles written before 1978, writers can recapture songs after two consecutive 28-year terms, or 56 years. (That legislation allows for writers of songs issued in or after 1978 to recapture their publishing after 35 years.)

The Lennon-McCartney catalog begins hitting the 56-year mark in 2018.

In order to reclaim publishing ownership of a song, a songwriter must file with the U.S. Copyright Office, terminating the publishing anywhere from 2 to 10 years before the 56 years elapse, in order to obtain ownership of that song’s publishing in a timely manner. (If the writer doesn’t put in a notice within that window, they have another five-year period to reclaim the copyrights but each day’s delay adds another day that the publisher owns the copyright.)

Billboard has confirmed that on Dec. 15, 2015, McCartney filed a termination notice of 32 songs with the U.S. Copyright Office. Additionally, another source confirmed that he has filed termination notices for his songs that were issued on Beatles records from 1962-1964, although many of the titles he has moved to terminate were issued much later, including the 1969 and 1970 songs “Come Together ,” “Golden Slumbers ,” “Carry That Weight ,” “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window ,” and seven other songs on the Abbey Road album, as well as the single tracks Don’t Let Me Down” and “The Ballad of John & Yoko.” Most of the songs carry a termination date in October 2025, while “Get Back ,” carries a termination date of April 18, 2025; and “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road,” on June 17, 2025.

According to the filing with U.S. Copyright Office, McCartney sent Sony/ATV Tunes LLC a notice of termination of grand under 17 USC section 304(C) on Dec. 15 by certified mail.

While many of the titles are widely acknowledged to be solo Lennon compositions -- the duo continued to share songwriter credit for the duration of the Beatles' existence -- the Act applies just to McCartney's share. “Only the McCartney half of the Lennon/McCartney songs are eligible for termination, and only for the U.S.,” an insider explained to Billboard, adding, “Sony/ATV still owns [those] Beatles songs in the rest of the world.”

In the case of Lennon, who died in 1980, the publisher's portion of his share of the Lennon-McCartney catalog for songs written in 1962 became eligible for reversion in 1990, because his death occurred during the first 28-year copyright term. However, in 2009, sources told Billboard that Sony/ATV cut a deal with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, prior to the reversion dates that enabled it to retain its publisher's share for the life of the copyright, which lasts for 70 years after the author's death. But where there are co-writers, the countdown begins after the last author dies. As Paul McCartney is still alive, the clock hasn't begun to tick yet.

Asked whether Sony overpaid for Sony/ATV given the coming reversion, the insider said no -- half of the Lennon-McCartney publishing for the world excluding the U.S. is not chump change by any measure.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7263857/paul-mccartney-beatles-songs-publishing

23 March 2016
12.27pm
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meanmistermustard
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Article on Paul's dealings over this from wogblog.

The article begins

Paul McCartney is in the process of reclaiming US publishing rights for a huge chunk of The Beatles’ catalogue from Sony/ATV.

The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 stipulates that writers of pre-1978 tracks can reclaim their US publishing rights – if they’ve previously signed them away – after 56 years.

That means the publishing rights for McCartney’s share of Beatles songs will begin expiring in 2018 – 56 years after the Fab Four’s first hit, Love Me Do , was penned and recorded in 1962.

Following a Billboard report on Friday (March 18), Music Business Worldwide has trawled the US Copyright Office’s records and discovered that McCartney filed termination notices last year for two batches of Fab Four tracks – ‘All You Need Is Love & 23 Other Titles’, in addition to ‘All Together Now & 32 Other Titles’.

Between them, these filings included hits ranging from "Back In The USSR " to "Helter Skelter ", "Hey Jude ", "I Will ", "Revolution ", "Yellow Submarine ", "Get Back " and "Because ". They will expire in 2024 and 2025.

But the story doesn’t stop there.

Music Business Worldwide has also dug through McCartney’s historical records with the US Copyright Office and discovered that the star has actually filed to terminate Sony/ATV’s US publishing rights to more than 170 Beatles songs in total.

McCartney’s first filing for copyright termination came in October 2008, when he filed for "Love Me Do " – the US publishing rights for which expire on October 5, 2018.

Since then, McCartney has filed a number of additional termination requests for his US publishing share, including a single batch containing no less than 40 compositions in December 2010.

The publisher’s share of John Lennon ’s contribution to those early Beatles 1962 songs first became eligible for reversion in 1990 following his death ten years earlier.

Sony is this month spending $750m to fully acquire the ATV catalogue first purchased by Michael Jackson for $41.5m in 1985.

Interestingly, this huge set of songs contains worldwide publishing rights to The Beatles songs.

Although Sony/ATV is now set to lose a chunk of these rights to McCartney over the next ten years, it is understood that the publisher will hold on to the rights outside of the US market.

Paul McCartney ’s owned copyrights are managed by his own MPL Communications, which in turn is an administration client of Kobalt. According to Companies House filings, McCartney is a minority shareholder in Kobalt Music Group.

There is more at the link.

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23 March 2016
8.34pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Paul is singing to his songs:

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged

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Bullion
23 March 2016
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Ahhh Girl said
Paul is singing to his songs:

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged

Then YouTube flagged him and both muted his voice and made money off his voice.

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https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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23 March 2016
11.02pm
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It really is a shame that he didn't get these back in the 80s, they are so valuable 

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20 January 2017
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Ahhh Girl
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@Pablo Ramon posted this in the Beatles News thread:

Perhaps this has already been posted elsewhere and if so, apologies...

It seems Paul is suing Sony over those publishing rights lost to ATV and subsequently purchased by Sony and Michael Jackson. 

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/1.....y-lawsuit/

I figured it fit here also.

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20 January 2017
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Ron Nasty
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I do hate the line that Paul is "suing"...

No, he is exercising a long established legal procedure that goes through on a nod.

There will be no court case, just a judge signing off on the reassigning of Paul's rights as partial author back to himself.

John's Estate, I believe, got his side of US publishing back in 2000 (music publishing rights can be reclaimed after 56 years in the US or, in the event of death, 20 years after death)...

This isn't a big change in that, though a big territory, it makes no change at all to publishing anywhere else in the world...

Yoko seems to have left her half of the publishing with Sony/ATV since it reverted to John's Estate, and I can't see Paul doing anything different. It makes sense for them to continue having Sony/ATV collecting US royalties for them alongside royalties for the rest of the world.

The big difference it makes is that Sony/ATV can no longer give permission for songs to be used commercially (in adverts or on soundtracks) as control passes. This vastly limits the exploitation of the catalogue in ways Paul and Yoko don't want, but it makes sense for them to continue to allow the copyrights to be administered by the company that has been administering it since, under different guises, 1969...

It just means there can't be another Nike ad without Paul and Yoko's permission... with or without them using a Beatles version...

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20 January 2017
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Does this mean that Carnival Of Light may finally see the light of day.

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Maybe you should try posting more.

20 January 2017
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8

Please please please. 

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20 January 2017
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Ron Nasty said
I do hate the line that Paul is "suing"...

No, he is exercising a long established legal procedure that goes through on a nod.

There will be no court case, just a judge signing off on the reassigning of Paul's rights as partial author back to himself.

John's Estate, I believe, got his side of US publishing back in 2000 (music publishing rights can be reclaimed after 56 years in the US or, in the event of death, 20 years after death)...

This isn't a big change in that, though a big territory, it makes no change at all to publishing anywhere else in the world...

Yoko seems to have left her half of the publishing with Sony/ATV since it reverted to John's Estate, and I can't see Paul doing anything different. It makes sense for them to continue having Sony/ATV collecting US royalties for them alongside royalties for the rest of the world.

The big difference it makes is that Sony/ATV can no longer give permission for songs to be used commercially (in adverts or on soundtracks) as control passes. This vastly limits the exploitation of the catalogue in ways Paul and Yoko don't want, but it makes sense for them to continue to allow the copyrights to be administered by the company that has been administering it since, under different guises, 1969...

It just means there can't be another Nike ad without Paul and Yoko's permission... with or without them using a Beatles version...  

According to the BBC

Lennon's share in The Beatles' songs will not return to his estate because Yoko Ono sold the rights to his music to Sony/ATV Music in 2009, with those rights lasting the entire copyright's lifetime (70 years).

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20 January 2017
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I don't see how getting the rights back affects the release of Carnival Of Light .
Paul would still need to get agreements from Yoko, Olivia, and Ringo. Which I think has already been tried.

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20 January 2017
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@Evangeline said
I don't see how getting the rights back affects the release of Carnival Of Light .
Paul would still need to get agreements from Yoko, Olivia, and Ringo. Which I think has already been tried.  

Also, these are the publishing rights, not the rights to the recordings...

As Evolution Evie says, this has no effect on whether the recording can be released...

That's a whole different game!

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20 January 2017
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meanmistermustard
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It has no bearing on 'Carnival Of Light ' or anything else getting released.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

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20 January 2017
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I was hoping that this would give Paul exclusive rights to The Beatles catalogue and therefore let him release it without anyone else's permission.

Maybe you should try posting more.

20 January 2017
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Ron Nasty
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HMBeatlesfan said
I was hoping that this would give Paul exclusive rights to The Beatles catalogue and therefore let him release it without anyone else's permission.  

Yeah, seeing what a good job he's done with his solo work... and why would you want Ringo, Yoko and Olivia to lose any say in favour of Paul? There were four Beatles...

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20 January 2017
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HMBeatlesfan
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Good point, except Carnival Of Light is Paul's song, so he should have exclusive rights to release it and unlike a piece of lost media like London After Midnight, the song isn't lost, it's just that Ringo, Yoko, and Olivia refuse to let him release it, which is funny considering Revolution 9 wasn't just released, it was put on The Beatles.

Maybe you should try posting more.

20 January 2017
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Starr Shine?
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And Revolution 9 was released without his approval.

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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20 January 2017
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Good point, if only John needed to approve of Revolution 9 , than only Paul should have to approve of Carnival Of Light .

Maybe you should try posting more.

20 January 2017
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HMBeatlesfan said
Good point, except Carnival Of Light is Paul's song, so he should have exclusive rights to release it and unlike a piece of lost media like London After Midnight, the song isn't lost, it's just that Ringo, Yoko, and Olivia refuse to let him release it, which is funny considering Revolution 9 wasn't just released, it was put on The Beatles.  

It's a Beatles song, same as 'Yesterday ' and everything else in their cannon and vaults. Needs all four to approve and Olivia will no doubt be respecting George's view of it's not to be released.

Starr Shine? said
And Revolution 9 was released without his approval.  

Where did you get that from? Paul sat in on the 24 hour compiling the album running order session with John and George Martin. All four Beatles had to say yes to get anything done. If one said no that was it.

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20 January 2017
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Paul clearly disliked the song and didn't play on it (except for the bass from Revolution 1 ), so either every Beatle but him said yes to it, or he was drunk while the mix was being done.

Maybe you should try posting more.

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