Licensing a Catalog

Courtney & Nirvana: Smells Like a Sellout [pdf]

Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”–coming soon to a soap ad near you?

So far Courtney Love is ruling that out, but chances are we’ll be hearing more of the seminal grunge band’s music in unexpected places now that Kurt Cobain’s cash-strapped widow has agreed to sell off a 25 percent stake in the Nirvana song catalog in a deal valued at $50 million, per Rolling Stone.

[…] To preemptively squelch backlash from fans worried about the over-commercialization of a decidedly anticorporate band, Love sought to assure the Nirvana faithful that the music won’t simply be licensed to the highest bidder.

“We’re going to remain very tasteful, and we’re going to [retain] the spirit of Nirvana and take Nirvana places it’s never been before,” Love told the magazine.

[…] Following her husband’s 1994 suicide, Love became the primary benefactor of Cobain’s estate, which included ownership rights of more than 98 percent of Nirvana’s song catalog. The other two former members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, own the remainder–slightly less than 2 percent split between them. The new deal does not affect their portion.