It is not always about the music as evidenced by Legendary Beatles Member Paul McCartney. Outbidded by Michael Jackson who had passed away, Paul is fighting against Sony who received the entire catalogue of songs Paul wrote with John Lennon after Michael had to pay off £610m in debt from his estate.
The songs in the list included “Yesterday”, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be.” McCartney is pushing Sony to enable his establishment of “copyright termination” against the publishing company. The lawsuit is filed in New York and uses the US 1976 Copyright Act to regain control of their masterpieces.
However, if Michael Jackson sold Sony the rights to The Beatles’ catalogue in the UK, it may mean that Sony can control the copyright until 70 years after the artist’s death — well-beyond the point McCartney wanted to achieve. McCartney’s legal statement includes not challenging the exercise of his termination rights until the resolution of the Duran Duran case.
The latter involving the duo of musicians had lost their case in the British High Court as their UK contracts are held in higher fervor over their rights in the US as artists. The signing of their contract happened in the United Kingdom, which further invalidates their right to claim copyright.