Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

Songs acquires exploitation rights in Gershwin works

By | Published on Tuesday 18 March 2014


US-based independent music publisher Songs has acquired the exploitation rights to a chunk of the George Gershwin catalogue which will see the company “create and deploy creative strategy” for works created in the latter part of the legendary composer’s career. The deal includes music from ‘Porgy And Bess’ and songs like ‘Summertime’ and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’.

Confirming the deal with the Godowsky family, Gershwin’s decedents, Songs boss Matt Pincus told Billboard: “As a global contemporary co-publisher, this is not our typical deal. It came about organically as Jon Keidan [trustee for the Gershwin/Godowsky Trust] and I are long-time friends. But the chance to work with Jon and his family on this singular, truly world-class set of songs is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and the people at Songs”.

Although George Gershwin died in 1937, meaning his standalone compositions are now out of copyright in Europe, in the US music from his era still has copyright protection, whilst collaborations with lyricists who died later may also ensure copyright protection elsewhere too.