Bob Dylan Wins Lawsuit Over His $300 Million Catalog Sale
Bob Dylan recently won a lawsuit against the musician’s former collaborator, who claimed he was entitled to have money from Dylan’s $300 million music catalog sale.
In December 2020, Bob Dylan decided to sell his entire music catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group. He gave them the rights to all his music material, including copyright claims and the income he receives from the songs. Dylan eventually sold around 600 hundred songs for over $300 million.
However, on January 20, 2021, Dylan’s former collaborator Jacques Levy’s wife and publishing company filed a suit against him to demand at least $1.75 million from the sale and $2 million in punitive damages. Levy was a songwriter who collaborated with Dylan on ‘Isis’ and another six songs from the album entitled ‘Desire.’
Moreover, the album was co-written by Levy, and their partnership helped them finish up an entire album in less than one month. With their lawsuit, Levy’s wife and his company sought their share of the $300 million. However, on July 30, the New York supreme court judge Barry Ostrager sided with Dylan.
Judge Barry Ostrager ruled that the contract gave Dylan complete ownership of the copyrights of the music material and limited Levy’s compensation to 35%, which primarily consists of licensing royalties that UMG continued paying.
As reported by Reuters, a three-judge appeals court panel agreed that the material was entirely Dylan’s sole property on April 5. Moreover, they affirmed that Levy’s contract with Dylan entitled him to a specific set of royalties without any proceeds from Dylan’s $300 million catalog sale.