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Paul McCartney Sues Sony Over Beatles Copyrights

Paul McCartney has filed a lawsuit against Sony Music over the ownership of certain Beatles songs, TMZ reports. The suit is an attempt by McCartney to get Sony, which currently holds the songs’ copyrights, to confirm that it will transfer the songs’ ownership back to the Beatle in 2018, when he claims he’s scheduled to legally reacquire them.

The songs in question—which include “Love Me Do,” “All You Need Is Love” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”—were once controlled by Michael Jackson and were part of the $750 million deal his estate made with Sony last year.

As Billboard notes, according to the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, songwriters are able to reclaim the publishers’ share of songs written before 1978 after 56 years. The first songs from the Lennon-McCartney catalog, which Jackson acquired in 1985 for $47.5 million, will be 56 years old in 2018. The lawsuit is part of McCartney’s long-term strategy to reacquire the songs’ copyrights: Billboard reports he formally began the process in December 2015, when he filed a termination notice of 32 songs with the U.S. Copyright Office.