Paul McCartney resolves dispute on Beatles song rights

This file photo taken on September 15, 2016 shows British singer-songwriter Paul McCartney (R) and musician Ringo Starr (L) of legendary rock-band The Beatles posing on the carpet to attend a special screening of the film "The Beatles Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years" in London. (AFP file photo)
Updated 05 July 2017
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Paul McCartney resolves dispute on Beatles song rights

NEW YORK: Paul McCartney has reached a settlement over copyright to the Beatles catalog, avoiding a legal battle that could have had wide ramifications for the music business.
McCartney filed a lawsuit in January in a US court to secure rights from Sony ATV Music Publishing in the wake of a British judicial ruling that shook up the industry.
Michael Jacobs, a lawyer for McCartney, late last week informed a judge that the two sides “have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement.”
Jacobs asked Edgardo Ramos, a federal judge in New York, to dismiss the lawsuit. Representatives declined further comment.
The case revolves around the US Copyright Act of 1976 which aimed to strengthen the hand of songwriters — whose relationship with music publishers, who hold rights and distribute royalties, has been notoriously rocky.
Under the act, songwriters could reclaim copyright from music publishers 35 years after they gave them away — or 56 years for songs from before 1978.
While US law is often seen as the gold standard in the entertainment industry, a British court took a different approach in December.
It refused to grant rights to 1980s pop sensations Duran Duran — known for hits such as “Rio” and the James Bond theme “A View to a Kill” — on the grounds that US law did not apply in Britain.
In his lawsuit, McCartney’s lawyer said that a Sony ATV executive approached him at a concert as the Duran Duran case went forward and warned that the publisher would fight harder for the Beatles catalog.
McCartney had vowed in the lawsuit to secure control of the catalog — an issue of growing urgency as the first Beatles single, “Love Me Do,” came out in 1962, meeting the 56-year timeframe under the US act in 2018.


Keira Knightley film calls for unity in divided times

Updated 19 February 2019
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Keira Knightley film calls for unity in divided times

  • The film is set during the reconstruction of post WWII Germany
  • The port city of Hamburg suffered a devastating bombing raid by the Allied forces in July 1943

LONDON: Keira Knightley said her new film “The Aftermath,” set in the bombed-out ruins of Hamburg just after the end of the Second World War, had important lessons on building bridges that were very relevant for today’s divided societies.
The romantic drama sees Knightley play Rachael Morgan, who moves to Germany to be with her husband, a British colonel who has a leading role in the reconstruction effort in Hamburg. They move in with a German widower and his troubled daughter.
Her co-stars, Australian Jason Clarke who plays her husband Lewis and Swedish Alexander Skarsgard, who plays a German architect also attended the world premiere at London’s Picturehouse Central on Monday.
“It’s very relevant for now. It’s about building bridges, it’s about how we see each other as human beings and we don’t demonize each other and that’s obviously something that we need to do right now,” Knightley said.
The port city of Hamburg suffered a devastating bombing raid by the Allied forces in July 1943, known as “Operation Gomorrah,” that killed some 40,000 people and caused the destruction of swathes of the city.
“I knew nothing about the rebuilding of Germany ... I haven’t thought about how unbelievably difficult it must have been to not only physically rebuild these places but also mentally for English and German people ... who had been enemies, who had literally killed each other for six years, to suddenly forgive and move forward,” Knightley said.
Clarke said: “We’ve benefited so much from the Lewis Morgans who put Europe together ... guys like him built it up and made Germany and Europe what it is today, we all stand on the threshold of wanting to tear it down.”
“The Aftermath” opens in cinemas in Britain on March 1, and in the United States on March 15.