Sir Paul McCartney is in the process of reclaiming US publishing rights for a huge chunk of The Beatles’ catalogue from Sony/ATV.

The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 stipulates that writers of pre-1978 tracks can reclaim their US publishing rights – if they’ve previously signed them away – after 56 years.

That means the publishing rights for McCartney’s share of Beatles songs will begin expiring in 2018 – 56 years after the Fab Four’s first hit, Love Me Do, was penned and recorded in 1962.

Following a Billboard report on Friday (March 18), MBW has trawled the US Copyright Office’s records and discovered that McCartney filed termination notices last year for two batches of Fab Four tracks – ‘All You Need Is Love & 23 Other Titles’, in addition to ‘All Together Now & 32 Other Titles’.

Between them, these filings included hits ranging from Back In The USSR to Helter Skelter, Hey Jude, I Will, Revolution, Yellow Submarine, Get Back and Because. They will expire in 2024 and 2025.

But the story doesn’t stop there.

MBW has also dug through McCartney’s historical records with the US Copyright Office and discovered that the star has actually filed to terminate Sony/ATV’s US publishing rights to more than 170 Beatles songs in total.

McCartney’s first filing for copyright termination came in October 2008, when he filed for Love Me Do – the US publishing rights for which expire on October 5, 2018.

Since then, McCartney has filed a number of additional termination requests for his US publishing share, including a single batch containing no less than 40 compositions in December 2010.

Below, you can see these filings in full (they include a number of repetitions, composition-wise, for variants on the copyright).

The publisher’s share of John Lennon’s contribution to those early Beatles 1962 songs first became eligible for reversion in 1990 following his death ten years earlier.

Sony is this month spending $750m to fully acquire the ATV catalogue first purchased by Michael Jackson for $41.5m in 1985.

Interestingly, this huge set of songs contains worldwide publishing rights to The Beatles songs.

Although Sony/ATV is now set to lose a chunk of these rights to McCartney over the next ten years, it is understood that the publisher will hold on to the rights outside of the US market.

Paul McCartney’s owned copyrights are managed by his own MPL Communications, which in turn is an administration client of Kobalt.

According to Companies House filings McCartney is a minority shareholder in Kobalt Music Group.

Source: MBW