Bob Dylan has owned the copyright to nearly all of his works for the duration of his career. Now though, he’s sold the rights to more than 600 songs to Universal Music Publishing Group.
The group reportedly negotiated the deal directly with Dylan himself. Releasing a statement on the negotiation, Universal Music Group’s 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.”
While Universal Music Publishing Group’s CEO, Jody Gerson said, “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.”
Bob Dylan did make some publishing deals for his songs over the years, however he managed to retain most of the control over his musical collection.
UMPG will receive the income earned on any of Dylan’s songs, barring any future songs — unless added to the agreement. They’ll also now collect royalties for Dylan’s songs, including when his impressive back catalogue is covered. And, just FYI Bob Dylan is one of the most frequently covered artists in the world.