Bowie Estate Sells Songwriting Catalog to Warner Music

David Bowie's estate has sold his entire songwriting catalog to Warner Music, including classics like "Space Oddity," "Let's Dance" and "Heroes," in the latest blockbuster deal for music rights. The New York Times reports: Warner's music publishing division, Warner Chappell, announced the agreement on Monday, saying that it encompassed Bowie's entire corpus as a songwriter, from the material on his 1967 debut album, "David Bowie," to his final album, "Blackstar," released just before Bowie's death in 2016 at age 69. The deal, for more than 400 songs, also includes soundtrack music; the material for Bowie's short-lived band Tin Machine from the late 1980s and early '90s; and other works. The price of the transaction was not disclosed, but is estimated at about $250 million. "These are not only extraordinary songs, but milestones that have changed the course of modern music forever," Guy Moot, the chief executive of Warner Chappell, said in a statement. David Bowie, the so-called "most wired rock star on the planet," has been featured in a number of Slashdot stories over the years. In 2002, Bowie talked about his new album, distribution deal with Sony, and how he's "fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing." In the late 90s, Bowie advocated for MP3s, telling The Guardian that they "could change the entire idea of what music is -- and that isn't so bad." Years later, he seemed to agree that concert ticket prices needed to increase to offset the rise in P2P file sharing and illegal downloads.

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