Beatles song rights dispute: Paul McCartney and Sony ATV work it out

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McCartney’s lawyer Michael Jacobs says the two sides ‘have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement.’

Paul McCartney has reached a settlement over copyright to the Beatles catalog, avoiding a legal battle that could have had wide ramifications for the music business.

McCartney filed a lawsuit in January in a US court to secure rights from Sony ATV music publishing following a British judicial ruling that shook up the industry.

Michael Jacobs, a lawyer for McCartney, late last week informed a judge that the two sides “had resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement.”

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Jacobs asked Edgardo Ramos, a federal judge in New York, to dismiss the lawsuit. Representatives declined further comment.

The case revolves around the US Copyright Act of 1976 which aimed to strengthen the hand of songwriters – whose relationship with music publishers, who hold rights and distribute royalties, has been notoriously rocky.

Under the act, songwriters could reclaim copyright from music publishers 35 years after they gave them away – or 56 years for songs from before 1978.

While US law is often seen as the gold standard in the entertainment industry, a British court took a different approach in December.

It refused to grant rights to 1980s pop sensations Duran Duran – known for hits such as Rio and the James Bond theme A View to a Kill – because US law did not apply in Britain.

In his lawsuit, McCartney’s lawyer said a Sony ATV executive approached him at a concert as the Duran Duran case went forward and warned the publisher would fight harder for the Beatles catalog.

 

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McCartney had vowed in the lawsuit to secure control of the catalog – an issue of growing urgency as the first Beatles single, Love Me Do came out in 1962, meeting the 56-year timeframe under the US act in 2018.

Sony ATV has rights to millions of songs including by other top names in music history such as Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan.

The company was initially a joint venture between Jackson and Japan’s Sony Corp, which bought out Jackson’s 50% stake from his estate last year for $750 million.

Ironically, Jackson bought rights to Beatles songs after a leisurely chat with McCartney on the importance of music publishing – a sore point later for the ex-Beatle.

Hollywood studio Sony is investigating the possibility that its servers were hacked by North Korea, in apparent retaliation for the Kim Jong-un baiting comedy The Interview.

At least five high-profile movies, including the upcoming remake of musical Annie and Brad Pitt second world war drama Fury, have found their way onto piracy sites in the wake of a security breach last week, reports Variety. Sony and security experts believe the attack may have been carried out by Chinese hackers working on behalf of North Korea, tech site recode.net reports.
Autocrats in Pyongyang have been strident in their criticism of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s film, which centers on a US plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un and is said to feature a scene in which the face of the “supreme leader” is melted off. North Korean ambassador Ja Song Nam labeled the comedy’s release an act of war in a letter to United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon in July.
Sony has only confirmed that it suffered a “system disruption,” which it was “working diligently to resolve.” However, it appears North Korea may have exacted revenge after The Interview’s stars openly mocked Kim Jong-un on screen and via social media.

“Kim Jong-un’s people believe everything he tells them, including that he can speak to dolphins, or that he doesn’t urinate or defecate,” CIA agent Lizzy Caplin tells TV producer Rogen and show host James Franco in a trailer for the film.

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Watch the trailer for The Interview
“It’s all a marketing ploy,” joked Rogen of Kim Jong-un’s temporary disappearance from public view in October. “We’ve hidden him somewhere, and he’ll be released one week before the movie.”
While The Interview itself does not appear to have been hacked the leaks are no laughing matter for the studio, which now could face losses running into hundreds of millions of dollars on Annie alone because the film has not yet hit cinemas. When a screener copy of Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3 hit the web for free earlier this year prior to its theatrical release, the sequel floundered at the US box office with just $39m (against an average of more than $90m for the first two movies in the series).

Other films believed to have leaked two Oscar-tipped dramas, the Mike Leigh biopic Mr. Turner and Alzheimer’s-themed Julianne Moore vehicle Still Alice. The Nathan Frankowski-directed true life tale To Write Love on Her Arms has also appeared on download sites.

Investigators will start through searching on the malware, the software used by the hackers after which look at the following actions they made. “Different organizations have one-of-a-kind styles of activity that they tackle after they enter a device. Those patterns are like a fingerprint, almost like a playbook. You’ll see that they move after sure servers first, that they conduct operations in a positive way.”

Depending on the quantity of data Sony has been capable of collect, investigators could be able to construct a profile of the hack and examine it to beyond attacks, stated Schwartz. He stated there was simplest a “small universe of groups” capable of pulling off a hack as massive as this.

Schwartz stated North Korea changed into able to pull off the Sony hack, but that in beyond cases 1/3 events had been proven to be accountable, and it became doubtful who had commissioned them.