Image by  Xavier Badosa (CC BY 2.0)

Where there’s money, there are invariably lawsuits. There’s certainly money in musicians selling their catalogues and royalty interests to investment companies, and lo and behold, there are lawsuits popping up as a result. Bob Dylan is facing one, after selling his song catalogue to Universal Music Group in December.

Billboard reported on the lawsuit from the widow of Jacques Levy, who co-wrote seven songs on Dylan’s 1976 album ‘Desire’.

The lawsuit’s argument is that since Levy was paid 35% of “any and all income earned by the compositions”, his estate is also due 35% of those songs’ value in the sale of the catalogue to UMG.

If the case gets to court, it will be an important legal point: whether a co-writer’s share of revenues from usage of songs should extend to a share of the money if those songs are sold – even if they do not actually own a share in the works. If successful (whether via a court ruling or a settlement) this lawsuit could spark others.

Image by  Xavier Badosa (CC BY 2.0)

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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