So, you know how I typically start off these posts with witty anecdotes and not that funny humor? Well, I’ve recently been really busy and sleep deprived, so I am currently at a loss for puns that are even remotely related to the topic at hand. At this point, I’m really just rambling until I can make what feels like an appropriately long first paragraph. Do you think this paragraph is appropriately long. With this sentence, I hereby state this paragraph to be a pleasing size.
Anyway, let’s talk about copyrights! Wanna learn something interesting about this law? No? Too bad! Once a song has reached 35 years of copyright, the creator of the song has an option to undergo “termination protocol.” What this means is that the creator of the work is allowed to reclaim their rights. This is how Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Prince have been filling companies with the fear of God to renegotiate deals. Guess who else is joining the list of artists trying to get back what’s rightfully theirs! It’s Paul McCartney!
Common knowledge, Michael Jackson, back in the 1980s, swiped up a crap ton of rights to Beatles songs. Jackson had a deal with Sony up until his death. Because the singer had a deal with the major label, his estate decided to sell the catalog to Sony. Which brings us to today.
Now there are two snags with this issue. Snag #1, Paul McCartney will not be getting his rights for a while, even if he does come out on top. At the earliest, he could receive them in October. Of 2018. Yeah. Sucks to be you.
Snag #2 is that, as a major label, Sony only cares about itself and doesn’t give a crap about artist desires or rights. Sony has a history of pulling a fast one in this type of situation. Duran Duran was in a similar pickle and ended up losing their suit because Sony decided to take things up with an English court, that English court favoring Sony according to British law. Again, sucks to be you.
So far, the ex-Beatle is hoping to move things along fairly quickly. He is also pursuing action through an American court, definitely a smarter decision for his cause.
Look, I’ve been subtly to bluntly bashing the major labels for a solid five months, so we all know whose side I’m on. I advocate artist rights, which the major labels and the US Library of Congress are trying to restrict. My earnest hope is that McCartney is able to work this out in an American court. We are currently in an awakening phase that our copyright laws are out of wack, more copyright cases are emerging, America is primed to deal with this legal matter vital to the music industry. And now that this legend artist is facing his own copyright fight, I hope the reform train picks up speed.
As for the future of the music business, you can safely expect more cases like this to come. If someone tells you otherwise, don’t believe them. More legend artists and their estates will get into similar battles, finally forcing our nation to look at copyright and update for the times at hand. I don’t think it’s a matter of if anymore; it’s a matter of when.
If you’d like to read the article that prompted this post, click here.
Once again, this has been the view from 214.