- Legislation corporations
- Associated paperwork
- Jacques Levy co-wrote ‘Hurricane,’ 9 different Dylan songs
- Levy’s property not entitled to share of $300 million sale
- Contract made clear that copyrights have been Dylan’s alone
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(Reuters) – Bob Dylan and Common Music escaped claims on Friday introduced by the property of songwriter and theater director Jacques Levy — who co-wrote the vast majority of songs on Dylan’s 1976 album “Need” — looking for a share of Dylan’s $300-million sale of his songwriting catalog to UMG late final 12 months.
New York State Decide Barry Ostrager that Dylan and Levy’s contract did not entitle Levy’s property to any proceeds from the sale of Dylan’s copyrights as a result of the contract solely granted him particular royalties from the songs.
“As we stated when the case was filed, this lawsuit was a tragic try to revenue off the latest catalog sale,” Dylan’s lawyer Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher stated. “We’re glad it is now over.”
Levy’s property’s lawyer Aaron Richard Golub did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
Levy co-wrote ten songs with Dylan, seven of which have been on “Need”, together with its most well-known music “Hurricane”. His widow Claudia Levy Dylan and UMG on behalf of his property in January, arguing their contract entitled him to 35% of “any and all revenue” earned by the compositions from a number of sources.
Levy argued this included proceeds from Dylan’s landmark of his catalog to UMG, which The New York Instances stated “would be the greatest acquisition ever of the music publishing rights of a single songwriter.” Levy had requested the court docket for not less than $1.75 million from the sale and $2 million in punitive damages.
However Ostrager stated that the contract was “clear and unambiguous” in granting Dylan full possession of the copyrights and limiting Levy’s compensation to 35% of what have been largely licensing royalties — which he stated UMG agreed to proceed paying — “and under no circumstances may be construed to incorporate a portion of Dylan’s sale of his personal copyrights.”
Ostrager discounted Levy’s property’s “voluminous opposition papers” in addition to the opinion of its music copyright skilled Bob Kohn, who argued the songs have been works of joint authorship. Kohn’s proof was inadmissible as a result of the settlement was unambiguous, and was additionally “unpersuasive because it distorts the plain language within the Settlement,” Ostrager stated.
“Bob Kohn improperly usurps the Courtroom’s perform to interpret the Settlement by cherry-picking phrases and phrases and assigning them meanings that ignore the encompassing phrases and are inconsistent with the 1975 Settlement when learn as a complete,” Ostrager stated.
The case is Levy v. Zimmerman, Supreme Courtroom for the State of New York, New York Rely, No. 650402/2021.
For Levy: Aaron Richard Golub of Aaron Richard Golub PC
For Dylan and UMG: Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher