Who Owns the Rights to Neil Young’s Music?

The rights to Neil Young’s music are owned by Warner Bros.-Reprise Records. However, he sold 50% of his back catalog of songs to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Neil Young took down his music from Spotify after having a dispute with the streaming service and Joe Rogan.

Neil Young and Reprise Records

Reprise Records is a record label that was bought by Warner Bros. Young signed with the label in 1968 when he started his solo career. Until now, Neil Young is still under the Reprise Records label, meaning they have ownership and publishing rights to all his songs (future and old).

Neil Young and Hipgnosis Songs Fund

Hipgnosis Songs Fund is a UK investment company responsible for the exposure of artists’ songs and provides capital for artists in return for a percentage of their copyright. In 2021, Neil Young sold 50% of the copyright of his 1,180 previous songs to Hipgnosis. This means that any revenue gathered from his old songs, Hipgnosis and Neil Young would share the profits equally.

The Spotify Dispute

In 2022, after Joe Rogan spread false information on Spotify, Neil Young asked Spotify to remove either Joe Rogan or himself from the platform. Spotify didn’t react to Young’s demands and removed him from the streaming service instead. 

Since Neil Young was removed from Spotify, and only a handful of his songs remain on the platform, Neil and Hipgnosis will barely be making any income from the platform.

The Future of Neil Young’s music

This year, Neil Young released his 14th studio album, “World Record.” However, any of the songs on this album are still under Warner Records’ copyright. If Neil Young sells the copyright to future songs to Hipgnosis or quits representing Reprise Records, this may change. There’s also a chance he’ll retire from music permanently. Only time will tell.

Who owns a song?

The owner of a song can be the songwriter, the performer, or the record label that released the song. In some cases, multiple people may own the rights to a song. For example, if a song is written by one person and performed by another, both people will usually have a claim to the music rights.

What are Music Rights?

Music rights give the owner of a song the exclusive ability to control how that song is used, reproduced, and distributed. This includes the right to make money from the song by licensing it for use in things like movies, TV shows, and commercials.

What are copyright laws?

Copyright laws are a set of rules that protect creative works like music, art, and writing. These laws give creators the exclusive right to control how their work is used, reproduced, and distributed. Copyright holders can earn revenue by allowing others to use their work in films, television programs, and advertisements.


The rights to Neil Young’s music are still owned by Warner Bros.-Reprise Records. Hipgnosis Songs Fund represents Neil Young’s entire collection of old songs and manages the revenue they generate. Meanwhile, any new songs Neil Young creates will remain under Warner Bros.-Reprise Records’ ownership.

Neil Young Featured Image by: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons