According to the memorandum in support of dismissal, Dylan was one of the rare songwriters who owned copyrights to his musical compositions. He evidently maintained full publishing control, and with respect to songs co-written with others, sole ownership also came because he treated these musicians as employees in contract. As for the catalog sale last November, Dylan says he “no longer owns the copyrights or has any right to royalties from their exploitation.”
But, Dylan’s court papers add that while he’d no longer be getting new money from exploitation of his legendary songs including “All Along the Watchtower,” “Tangled Up in Blue” and “The Times They Are A-Changin,'” he ensured that Universal would assume obligations to his old collaborators including Levy, who co-wrote 10 songs and contracted for a 35 percent cut of income earned on them.
“Dylan thus extinguished his own rights in the songs at the same time he made sure that Plaintiffs’ right to compensation from future uses of the songs was preserved,” states the court memo, characterizing the Levy estate as now seeking an “impermissible double-dip.”
See the full memo at THR.com.