image of Sir Paul McCartney

image of Sir Paul McCartneyWhen it comes to copyrighted content, it only seems logical that the person who created this artistic property should be the one who owns said property. However, due to various business tactics and the ways they coincide with the law, this is not always the case. In fact, sometimes content creators have no ownership of their work at all!

Thus, it should be no surprise that Sir Paul McCartney, the most publicly recognized member of the Beatles, has submitted a formal lawsuit against Sony to regain the rights to more than 250 of the band’s songs.

The Long and Winding Road

For those unfamiliar with how the rights of the Beatles’ tracks ended up out of the most prestigious Beatle’s possession, the tale goes something like this…

In the 1970’s, Sir Paul McCartney and the late Michael Jackson joined forces for a series of collaborative pieces that would span both of their discographies. At the time of their collaboration, the rights to the Beatles’ tracks in question belonged to an Australian billionaire, Robert Holmes a Court. Wanting to obtain these rights for himself following their partnership, Michael Jackson eventually purchased the catalog for $47.5 million, thus ending any camaraderie between the King of Pop and McCartney.

Several years after Jackson passed away, his estate sold the rights of these songs to Sony, leading up to McCartney’s recently filed lawsuit.

We Can Work It Out

Having these 250+ within and without his grasp several times, Sir Paul McCartney is no stranger to chasing down and regaining control of his musical legacy. The question of whether or not he can win his case, however, is still up in the air.

If history repeats itself, McCartney’s chances of procuring the Beatles’ catalog are bleak. Late last year, the English pop sensation, Duran Duran, lost a similar copyright case: three albums-worth of songs, also owned by Sony. With the taste of litigation victory still fresh on their lips, Sony is sure to use this case as a reference to maintain control over the Beatles’ 250+ tracks.

This, of course, won’t stop Sir Paul McCartney from trying to take back intellectual art that rightfully belongs to himself and his former bandmates. If the law is on his side, there will be a way for Sony and McCartney to work something out. Unfortunately, tomorrow never knows…

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