NEW YORK: Paul McCartney has reached a settlement over copyright to the Beatles catalog, avoiding a legal battle that could have had wide ramifications for the music business. McCartney filed a lawsuit in January in a US court to secure rights from Sony ATV Music Publishing in the wake of a British judicial ruling that shook up the industry. Michael Jacobs, a lawyer for McCartney, late last week informed a judge that the two sides “have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement.” Representatives declined further comment. The case revolves around the US Copyright Act of 1976 which aimed to strengthen the hand of songwriters—whose relationship with music publishers, who hold rights and distribute royalties, has been notoriously rocky. Under the act, songwriters could reclaim copyright from music publishers 35 years after they gave them away—or 56 years for songs from before 1978. McCartney had vowed in the lawsuit to secure control of the catalog—an issue of growing urgency as the first Beatles single, “Love Me Do,” came out in 1962, meeting the 56-year timeframe under the US act in 2018.