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Downtown to administrate five Beatles songs

By | Published on Tuesday 22 October 2013

The Beatles

More Beatles, and independent music firm Downtown Music Publishing has announced a deal with the John Lennon estate which will see the firm administrate rights in five Beatles songs, the band’s first two singles (a-sides and b-sides) and their final release, ‘Free As A Bird’, a song originally written by Lennon in 1977 and released, with additional contributions from his three bandmates, fifteen years after his death in 1995.

Although Sony/ATV famously controls most of the Lennon/McCartney oeuvre, these five songs were previously owned by the Universal publishing firm, before being reclaimed by the creators in the US, seemingly utilising reversion rights under American copyright law. Although Universal initially continued to administrate the songs, the Lennon side has now be transferred to Downtown, following an earlier deal between the indie and Yoko Ono back in January which covered her and her late husband’s solo catalogues.

Downtown’s president Justin Kalifowitz told Billboard he was “privileged” to represent the five songs, adding: “These new signings reflect our direction and continued expansion as a full-service music publisher”.