Bob Dylan and Universal Music Group are being sued for $7.25 million by the estate of Jacques Levy. This all comes after the 79 year old singer sold his music rights for his entire catalogue for $300 million last year.
Levy was an occasional lyric collaborator with Dylan, his widow Claudia claims that their estate did not receive any money from this $300 million deal. Jacques Levy passed away in 2004.
Levy co-wrote 7 of the 9 songs on Dylan’s 1976 album Desire. Claudia made a claim to Manhattan Supreme Court, saying his estate is owed “35% of any and all income earned by the compositions”. This also includes “35% of the purchase price paid to the Dylan defendants”.
Dylan’s album “Desire” topped the Billboard Pop Album chart for five weeks. This album also ranked 174th on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of all time.
Levy was also the stage director for Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue Tour of 1975 and 1976, including the classic “Hurricane”. Other tracks include Isis and Mozambique. Levy was also an English professor at Colgate University, New York.
It was also reported last month, that Dylan released “Bob Dylan – 50th Anniversary Collection 1970”. This album includes sessions with former Beatles star, George Harrison.
Levy’s estate and his wife are seeking their “rightful share” of the sale to Universial Music Group around a week after it was completed last month. Dylan and his companies have refused to pay out according to the court’s documents.
The court papers have also stated that this follows a pattern of Dylan refusing to give Levy songwriting credit throughout the years. This is supposed to include Martin Scorsese’s film: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story.
The Levy estate alleges, “The Dylan defendants have engaged in a civilly wrong pattern and history of intentionally and maliciously ignoring and disregarding plaintiff’s rights, including those to income and any and all revenue generated by the compositions, including the subject buy-out of the catalogue sale”.
Richard Golub, Claudia’s lawyer has also added, “There is a great creative history between Jacques and Bob”.
“A sad attempt to unfairly proft” Bob Dylan’s lawyer
A lawyer acting on Bob Dylan’s behalf, Orin Snyder has denied the claims made by Claudia Levy’s estate. He said that they did not owe money to the estate.
Mr Snyder described Levy’s claim as “a sad attempt to unfairly profit off of the recent catalog sale”. He also added,”The plaintiffs have been paid everything they are owed”.
He added, “We are confident that we will prevail. And when we do, we will hold plaintiffs and their counsel responsible for bringing this meritless case”.
As well as this, a spokesperson for UMG has declined to comment on the matter.