Bob Dylan has sold his entire songwriting catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group in a landmark deal of reportedly more than $300 million, according to the New York Times. Dylan’s catalog includes over 600 songs up through his latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways. UMPG reportedly negotiated the deal directly with Dylan, who previously had control over nearly all of his music publishing rights throughout his six-decade career.
“Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless—whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday,” Lucian Grainge, Chairman CEO of Universal Music Group, said in a statement. “I have no doubt that decades, even centuries from now, the words and music of Bob Dylan will continue to be sung and played—and cherished—everywhere.”
UMPG’s CEO, Jody Gerson, added: “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.”
The acquisition includes all of Dylan’s original songs, as well as a few co-written with other songwriters, and one on which he’s not a writer – the Band’s 1968 hit ‘The Weight’, which Dylan owned the rights to but which was written by Robbie Robertson. It does not include any future songs Dylan may write.