MPL owns 25,000 compositions, including tunes by Buddy Holly, pop standards and “Hard Knock Life.”
During the past 50 years, Paul McCartney and his lawyers have built MPL from a small company that once occupied half of a small office in Soho Square to a formidable publishing force that now owns and occupies the entire building. The company made its first major acquisition four-and-a-half decades ago when Lee Eastman -- Linda’s father and a powerful entertainment lawyer who also represented the abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning -- convinced him to purchase the Edwin H. Morris catalog for “a reported $15 million,” according to The Washington Post.
MPL now controls over 25,000 songs -- from McCartney’s post-Beatles work to songs by Buddy Holly, Fats Waller, Bert Berns and Bessie Smith. The publishing company, MPL Communications Inc., has helped MPL Communications Ltd. pull in over 350 million pounds in the last 25 years, according to U.K. financial filings, with a peak turnover of 32.86 million pounds ($52.25 million) in 2014. (That revenue comprises McCartney’s touring revenue, as well as his royalties from recorded music, including that of The Beatles; the band got a 50% royalty from EMI for streams and digital sales, according to label sources, although that could have changed once Universal bought EMI.)