Paul McCartney Sues Sony Over Rights To The Beatles Catalog

McCartney Seeking To Regain Rights To Across the Universe, Love Me Do, I Want to Hold Your Hand and More

Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Sony/ATV Music Publishing in an effort to reclaim the rights many Beatles songs.

McCartney filed the suit in federal court in New York, seeking to gain ownership of the copyrights by 2018, according to court documents.

Michael Jackson famously bought ATV’s back catalog in 1985, which includes more than 200 Beatles tracks, before they were sold back to Sony by Jackson’s estate after his death.

McCartney is hoping to regain the rights to his songs under the US Copyright Act of 1976 – which allows songs written before 1978 to return under the songwriter’s property after a period of 56 years.

Songs in the Lennon-McCartney catalog, written between September 1962 and June 1971, will start hitting their 56-year mark in 2018.

McCartney started sending notices to Sony/ATV in 2008, stating his desire to reclaim the copyrights to songs including Across the Universe, Love Me Do, and I Want to Hold Your Hand.

McCartney’s lawyers have repeatedly asked Sony/ATV to acknowledge the musician’s rights to terminate copyright transfers of the music, and the company has declined to do so. McCartney has filed the suit since he has not been able to get Sony to confirm they will transfer the copyrights under his name.