Monday, March 21, 2016

Paul McCartney is Reacquiring Rights to His Back Catalog

I've always thought it was ridiculous that John & Paul didn't own the songs they wrote for the Beatles. That may be (sort of) changing in the next few years. From the Independent...

According to Billboard, the US Copyright Act of 1976 allows writers to reclaim their songs from publishers, with songs written before 1978 reclaimable 56 years after initial release. In other words, the McCartney-Lennon back catalogue will be reclaimable starting 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,” Billboard notes. Accordingly, McCartney reportedly filed for termination for 32 of his and Lennon’s songs on the 15 April 2015. Unfortunately, the copyright will only belong to McCartney in the US.

While the bassist’s half of the songs will return to him, Lennon’s will not belong to his estate. Yoko Ono sold the rights to his music to Sony/ATV Music in 2009, those rights lasting the entire copyright’s lifetime (70 years).