TMZ reports that the songs include ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘All You Need Is Love’. They were famously purchased by Michael Jackson when he outbid McCartney $41.5m for The Beatles’ ATV Music catalogue in 1985. The Jackson estate sold its stake in the collection to Sony/ATV for $750 million last year.
According to McCartney, he will legally reacquire the songs in 2018, but Sony had not confirmed whether they will surrender the songs without dispute.
In a statement to Pitchfork, a spokesperson for Paul McCartney said: “Paul McCartney has today filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against Sony/ATV to confirm his ownership in his US reversionary copyrights, which are granted to him by US copyright law, in the songs he wrote with John Lennon and recorded with The Beatles. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and bears the case no. 17cv363.”
Meanwhile, McCartney recently saw in the New Year with an unexpected appearance on stage with The Killers. The Las Vegas band were performing in St. Barts for Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich when the Beatle made a surprise appearance. McCartney played one of his old band’s songs, ‘Helter Skelter’, with the four-piece, who are led by Brandon Flowers.