John Fogerty just got his songs back and it’s about damn time

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Can someone explain why he(or CCR as a whole) didn't own them from the beginning? Don't most musicians/bands own their songs?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Depends on the contract signed. Also, there are different types of ownership. You can own the songs/lyrics, but not the original recordings or the arrangements. Music ownership rights are a crazy thing.

After he left CCR and went out on his own, John got sued by his old label for sounding too much like himself. He did win that, but the fact that it had to go all the way to a jury for that to be decided tells you a lot about how crazy music rights can get.
 
John Fogerty gave up his rights to the CCR catalog in exchange for getting out of the lifetime contract he signed with Saul Zaentz and Fantasy Records(in the 60s)@ 1979 or 80.

Saul Zaentz also was the man who sued Fogerty for plagiarizing himself in the 80s.

I wonder how much Fogerty paid for the majority rights...

I read an article that said he would have gotten some control of the catalog at the 56 years mark of the copyright.
That was probably the incentive for the present owners of the catalog to sell some of the stake to Fogerty now. It might lead to a more amenable partnership in the coming years. It would also simplify selling the rights completely.
 
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