After more than half a century Sir Paul McCartney will finally own the rights to his own music. “The song publishing business can be quite lucrative” McCartney told Michael Jackson back in the 80’s, while the two were collaborating. Jackson quipped to McCartney “I’m going to own yours!”. A few years later when ATV music came up for sale, Jackson purchased it for $47.5 million, acquiring about 250 Lennon-McCartney songs as part of the 4,000 song library owned by the company. The deal soured McCartney’s and Jackson’s friendship, as Sir Paul felt he and Lennon had been taken advantage of as youngsters and his friend, Michael Jackson, was now in a position to right an old injustice. Jackson didn’t see it that way, claiming it was “just business” and the two drifted apart.
The Beatle was non-too happy to see his music being used for commercials.
In 1995 Jackson sold half of ATV to Sony and together the two formed Sony/ATV Music Publishing, with Jackson and Sony each owning 50 percent of the company. A few years before his death, Sony made a deal with Jackson, to help him with his financial troubles in exchange for half of his 50% of the company, giving Sony 75% ownership of the music catalog. Last year (2016), Sony announced it’s intention to purchase the rest of the company from Jackson’s estate for a whopping $750 million. Putting Paul McCartney even further away from his dream.
Copyright laws to the rescue!
The US Copyright Act of 1967 states – for songs published before 1978, rights can be reverted back to the original author after 56 years. The Beatles released their first album in 1963, and their first single “Love Me Do” was released in 1962, making it 56 years old in 2018. In 2015 McCartney began the steps to reclaim his music, including filing a lawsuit for them.
This summer Paul McCartney secured the rights to his music in a private settlement with Sony. So, a big win for one of only two surviving Beatles, who has been on a journey to own the rights to his own music for nearly 50 years!
I’ve never been a terribly confident person. Now, sure, if my close friends ask me for the millionth time to do my tried and true Alanis Morissette impression, I’m not going to waiver. Compare that, however, to getting up on a stage and performing, or introducing myself to a classroom full of strangers, or co-anchoring an entire election night’s worth of coverage, and you’ve got a situation that’ll leave my hands shaking. Despite all this, I actually somehow put myself in that last position. On real, live radio, I signed up to co-host five hours’ worth of impromptu discussions, candid interviews, and–oh God, the horror–ad libbing. In my mind, I’d be facing my worst fears–or so I thought.
Okay, so everyone has an opinion, or at least most of us do. I am particularly noted as commonly having strong ones. However, I worked hard the night of the election to remain unbiased. I tried not to code my language or reveal something in the tone of my voice, and in the early stages of the night, I thought I was doing a pretty good job. It wasn’t like the candidate I truly and honestly feared, was going to win… right?
I learned a lot more than I had expected whilst covering this election. And one of those things is sometimes, if what you’re covering is going to make you lose your cool, you simply have to go to the bathroom on one of your fleeting breaks, have a three minute cry, and then get back to work. This was a valuable lesson for me, and one I plan to hold on to. After a half hour, my nerves were overcome, but my emotions were another story altogether. What I took away from this experience that night is that, if I can just hold it for a little while (and keep holding, and keep holding even longer if I must), there’s nothing wrong with an emotional release–as long as I still get the job done.
I had always thought it would be exciting to live in a swing state, to have the whole country look to your state on the night of the election. I thought it would thrilling to know that your vote, every vote, matters in this race. But what I learned in this election is that it isn’t fun to be from a swing state. It’s actually the most terrifying thing in the world.
I grew up in Michigan, a state that in my memory has always voted blue. I thought I knew my state. I thought that there was no way a Republican candidate could win our 16 electoral votes. I laughed at anyone who predicted that Michigan would be a state to watch on election night. But as I write this, President-elect Donald Trump has just been declared the winner of our state. A whole 20 days after election night, the votes have finally been counted.
I view my state differently now. I question who I know that might have voted for Donald Trump. I wonder what drew so many people, people who had similar experiences to me, to this candidate. My whole life, I’ve always seen Republican states as a faraway places; but now I am living in one. It’s a fact I couldn’t believe on election night. As the numbers came in, I kept telling myself, “They haven’t counted Wayne county, Washtenaw county is only 30% in, and Oakland county is always late.” Michigan wasn’t officially declared on November 8th, so I was able to convince myself that Trump didn’t win my home state. But he did. On November 28th, Donald Trump was declared the winner of Michigan with a 10,704 vote margin.
Now I know my wishes for being in a swing state were misguided. There is nothing exciting about living in uncertainty. There is no glamour in not knowing what your next-door neighbor is truly thinking. I would gladly give up any excitement of being in a swing state to get my boring true-blue state back.