Bob Dylan sells his entire publishing catalog to Universal Music
Bob Dylan has been a Columbia Records man his entire career and may remain so, but he's just sold his entire publishing catalog -- the copyrights to some 600 songs -- to Universal Music, in what The New York Times says may be the single biggest acquisition of a single artist's publishing in history. Details of the deal were not disclosed, but it has been estimated at $300 million.
“To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time — whose cultural importance can’t be overstated — is both a privilege and a responsibility,” said Jody Gerson of Universal’s publishing division. Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge said, “It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art.”
According to the Times, Dylan’s deal "includes 100 percent of his rights for all the songs of his catalog, including both the income he receives as a songwriter and his control of each song’s copyright." Though he's had many publishing deals over the course of his career, Dylan had gained control over all his songs apart from the seven, including “Song for Woody” and “Talkin’ New York”, that he'd signed his first-ever deal with -- Leeds Publishing, who had sold them in 1964 to MCA (which is now Universal).
The deal with Universal includes songs he'd co-written with others, as well as the only song he owns the rights to but didn't write -- The Band's "The Weight" -- but it does not include any future songs he may write.
Dylan released Rough and Rowdy Ways back in June.