Sir Paul McCartney is known for writing music and playing a mean guitar lick. Soon music label Sony will remember him for writing letters and getting mean in court. The music legend is heading to court to fight for the rights to Beatles songs owned by the label.
The King of Pop Michael Jackson purchased the rights to the music in 1985 and was sold to Sony after the singer’s death in 2009. McCartney issued a letter to all parties in 2008 saying that he planned to purchase the rights back, but was ignored.
The songs, which were written with John Lennon, include the tracks Love Me Do, and I Want to Hold Your Hand as well as other works written by The Beatles between 1962 and 1971. Sony is “disappointed” by the suit. In a statement Sony stated that they have “the highest respect for Sir Paul McCartney with whom we have enjoyed a long and mutually rewarding relationship with respect to the treasured Lennon & McCartney song catalog,” They added, “We are disappointed that they have filed this lawsuit, which we believe is both unnecessary”.
Sony has been through this before with the English pop band Duran Duran. In that instance the record label was victorious. McCartney is settling in for the long haul, however, as his suit covers not only the rights but a full reimbursement for his attorney’s fees.
McCartney and Lennon lost the rights to their songs after a bad business advice saw two other men walk away with the rights. During a social chat years later with Michael Jackson, McCartney let it slip that he made a lot of money from royalties of the songs he did own but didn’t own a few Beatles songs. In what McCartney felt was a backstabbing Jackson bought the rights to those songs two years later. This event broke a friendship that has seen them record two hit songs together.