Bob Dylan Sells His Publishing Rights To Universal
Bob Dylan just got a whole lot richer. This morning, Universal announced that the Universal Music Publishing Group had acquired Dylan’s entire catalog of songs — 600 song copyrights, stretching back over more than 50 years. Dylan had controlled almost all of his song copyrights throughout his career, and if he sold them to Universal, he must’ve sold them for a lot.
Universal now has the rights for songs ranging from “Blowin’ In The Wind,” which Dylan wrote in 1962, to the songs from this year’s excellent Rough And Rowdy Ways. Universal will now get royalties everytime someone covers a Bob Dylan song, which is a thing that people seem to do pretty often.
As Rolling Stone points out, Dylan wrote almost all of his songs himself, which means that Universal won’t need to split those royalties with anyone. (Dylan also owned the copyright on the Band’s “The Weight,” which Robbie Robertson wrote, and now Universal has that, too.) The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but according to Variety, a source claims that it’s “easily in nine figures.” Please enjoy the image of Bob Dylan swimming around in a Scrooge McDuck money tank.