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Paul McCartney launches bid to win Beatles publishing rights

Beatles star will be able to reclaim ownership of his work from 2018 and has already started legal proceedings

Paul McCartney has started legal proceedings to secure the publishing rights to the Beatles' back catalogue.

Despite writing most of the Fab Four's hits, McCartney has never owned the publishing rights. But under the terms of the US Copyright Act of 1976, he will be able to reclaim the rights to some of the songs in 2018 after a mandatory 56-year ownership period has elapsed.

Billboard reports that McCartney has filed paperwork to reclaim rights to 32 songs in the US, although the rights in the rest of the world will remain with Sony/ATV.

The Beatles' work was under the control of publishing firm Northern Songs for years, before they were sold to ATV Music. The rights were then bought by Michael Jackson in the 1980s.

In 1995, Jackson sold half of his share in ATV Music to Sony, which bought the other 50% this month.

Beatles producer Sir George Martin died earlier this month, He was 90.

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