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ASCAP NABS RIGHTS
TO BEATLES SONGS
Performance Rights Society Snatches
Sony/ATV Catalog From BMI
The music business' barracudas have begun to circle around those well-known Liverpool lads.

The massive international success of Capitol's latest Beatles release has reminded many industry veterans how profitable being in business with the Fab Four can actually be.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns the rights to many of the songs in the Beatles catalog, has moved the tunes from BMI to ASCAP.

The publishing company, which is partly owned by Michael Jackson reportedly chose to change performance rights societies because ASCAP guaranteed a huge advance and a guaranteed higher royalty rate, sources said.

The move, which was made before the release of the Beatles' hit compilation album "1," is viewed as a massive coup for ASCAP as the record has sold nearly 6 million copies in the United States alone.

The deal calls for the transfer of many of the Beatles songs written by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. John Lennon's compositions, which are controlled by Yoko Ono, and other songs that are not in the ATV catalog will remain at BMI. With BMI, Sony/ATV's catalog generates between $2-$3 million in annual worldwide performance royalties.

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