Rolling Stones work out new deal for song rights

Jagger makes a deal. Credit: Reuters
Mick Jagger makes a deal.
Credit: Reuters

Rolling Stones songs such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” have won a new publishing deal just as a series of shows this summer is set to boost interest in the band’s back catalog.

BMG, part of German publisher Bertelsmann, has signed to represent the catalog of the Stones, who are on tour celebrating 50 years in the music business.

The company gave no value for the deal, in which BMG’s responsibilities will range from marketing and licensing songs to the film, TV and advertising sectors, to ensuring the writers are paid promptly and accurately for their use on the fast-growing number of digital music services.

It is the first new publishing deal with an outside company in 40 years for Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, who share writing credits on many of the band’s best-known hits.

EMI Music Publishing, which owns the band’s songs from 1971-1983, was the last outside company to sign a deal with the band, before the Stones took control over their own compositions.

BMG will from July 1 take direct responsibility for publishing all of the songs written by Jagger and Richards since 1983. Additionally the company will be responsible for handling the pair’s shares of their pre-1983 copyrights such as “Angie” and “Brown Sugar.”

“This deal is incredibly important for BMG,” the company’s CEO Hartwig Mausch said in a statement. “Keith and Mick have clearly created one of the most outstanding song collections in rock ‘n’ roll history.”

The Stones, who released their first single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On,” in 1963, are gearing up for a gig at British music festival Glastonbury this weekend before playing more dates over the summer in London.

The BMG deal comes on the back of a career-spanning digitally remastered back catalog released on Apple’s iTunes Store last week.


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