Jan 6, 2021

Neil Young Commercialises his Intellectual Property

Neil Young, the Canadian-American musician, has sold the rights to his music in a staggering £110 million deal.

Young rose to fame in 1960’s after forming rock band Buffalo Springfield. The band’s best hits include the likes of “For What It’s Worth” and “Mr. Soul”. The group disbanded some years later but Young continued writing and creating music for his solo career but also for other bands such as Crazy Horse and Stills. Young is often considered one of the greatest and most influential songwriters of all time; seven of his albums were included in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time chart.

It has emerged this week that Hipgnosis Songs Fund have purchased 50% of the rights to Neil Young’s impressive library of 1,180 songs. Hipgnosis has previously bought the rights to songs from other well-known artists including Mark Ronson and Blondie and are reported to have spent £1bn in acquiring various music rights. Companies such as Hipgnosis purchase rights in music with the aim of receiving an income stream from royalties when the music is then played on radio or on television.

The owner of Hipgnosis, Merck Mercuriadis, has previously stated that music is “as investable as gold or oil” as the revenue created from royalties is, he says, not affected by fluctuations in the economy.

The agreement between Hipgnosis and Young is an example of how someone can commercialise their intellectual property. Hipgnosis has stated that it will work with Young to make sure his music is heard on his terms.

If you have any questions on how to commercialise your intellectual property, please get in touch with the team on 0191 281 4000 or by email at legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

Posted by: Hannah Flowers in: Copyright, EU/International

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