The fight that was poised to be a landmark music battle has ended in a draw.
McCartney sued in January, asking the court for a declaration that he could soon reclaim his copyright ownership share to the iconic group's catalog of songs. Because the Copyright Act of 1976 lengthened the term of copyright protection by 19 years, it created for owners of works who signed over their rights on or before Jan. 1, 1978 the non-waivable right to reclaim them after a certain period of time. The provision McCartney relied on here states specifically: "Termination of the grant may be effected at any time during a period of five years beginning at the end of fifty-six years from the date copyright was originally secured, or beginning on January 1, 1978, whichever is later."
For Sir Paul, that date was Oct. 5, 2018. Despite not receiving any pushback from Sony/ATV after sending termination notices, the artist was on alert because one of the company's affiliates successfully opposed Duran Duran's efforts to regain rights. In December, an English court ruled that the interpretation of contracts under English law trumps American termination law and the band's agreement transferred the "entire copyrights" for the "full term" of the copyrights and "implicitly precludes the Group Members from exercising rights under US law which have the result that the Claimant's ownership of the copyrights is brought to an end prior to their expiry."