Bob Dylan Wins Lawsuit Against Co-Writer Jacques Levy’s Estate
A New York judge has ruled in Bob Dylan‘s favor in a recent dispute concerning the ownership of ten songs from his 1976 album Desire.
The lawsuit, filed in January by the estate of Jacques Levy, claimed ownership of over 35% of the songs that he and Dylan wrote together. Judge Barry Ostrager of the Supreme Court of New York decided that the agreement signed by both Dylan and Levy clearly stated that the co-writer did not have ownership over the material. It said that “Levy’s compensation rights are defined and expressly limited by the terms of the Agreement.”
Dylan’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, who originally called the suit “a sad attempt to unfairly profit off of the recent catalog sale,” said in a statement that he and the singer were “pleased” with the decision.
The dispute originated after the Nobel Prize winner sold the music publishing rights of his entire catalog to Universal Music Publishing in December 2020. The deal reportedly cost Universal around $300 million. A month after the sale, Levy’s widow, Claudia, filed the lawsuit, stating that the estate was entitled to a portion of Dylan’s profits due to his songwriting collaboration with her husband. They sought $7.25 million.
The folk singer recently announced the 16th volume of his long-running Bootleg Series called Springtime in New York, which will focus on his work from 1980-1985. In addition, last month he streamed Shadow Kingdom, featuring “renditions of songs from his extensive and renowned body of work created especially for this event.”
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