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Paul McCartney is already among the richest musicians in the world, but that’s without owning the publishing rights to the majority of the Beatles songs he co-wrote with John Lennon. Those songs are partly owned by the Michael Jackson estate after the King of Pop famously bought them in the early ‘80s. The other half is owned by Sony/ATV Music. However, according to reports this week, McCartney may regain those rights thanks to the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.
Music site The Fader pointed out last Sunday that the Copyright Act allows songwriters to get back publishing rights of songs written before 1978 after 56 years.
So, McCartney could get back the songs written in 1962 in 2018 and tracks written in 1970 in 2026. As TheWrap notes, he’s 71 now, so he’ll have to wait until he’s 76 to start getting these songs back.
The Daily Mail reports that Jackson reportedly spent $47.5 million on the songs. In 2005, he sold half of the rights to Sony for $95 million. Jackson’s purchase of the rights ruined his relationship with the former Beatle and they never worked together again after the hit “Say Say Say.” Of course, it’s never stopped McCartney from performing Beatles songs at his shows. He’s been added to the iHeartRadio Music Festival next month, where he’ll probably play “Hey Jude” again.
Also, producer Ethan Jones told Rolling Stone that he and McCartney are working on a new album, so hopefully we get some new McCartney music soon.