Bob Dylan Paid to License “Asia Series” Photos, Magnum Says

Jacob Aue Sobol/MagnumIt turns out that when Bob Dylan finally got around to painting his masterpieces, he may have had to use his Mastercard. In a new twist to the plagiarism scandal over the singer’s “Asia Series” show at Gagosian, an executive at the famed Magnum photo agency revealed that Dylan did pay licensing rights for the images he copied from the photo archive, which now are said to number at three. WNYC got the scoop.

“According to an executive at Magnum, those photographs were licensed for use by Dylan, though he would not say when or for how much, making it unclear whether they were cleared for use from the start, or after accusations of plagiarism began to surface.”

WNYC also found that Dylan copied from another, previously unnoticed photo from Magum, that of a cock fight by Jacob Aue Sobol (pictured at left). That brings the total number of photographs Dylan apparently used for the “Asia Series” to 11, more than half of the 18 paintings in the show. Two more, a Life magazine image, and a Musée Albert Kahn photograph, are copyrighted. It is still unclear if he purchased the rights for those. Six more — which are under public domain — are in the Flickr photostream of Okinawa Soba, whose real name is Rob Oechsle.